Economic Resilience Activity
1991 Civic Tech Center is the first hub for developing public technological organizations and startups in Central and Eastern Europe.
The genesis of the 1991 Civic Tech Center arose from the triumph of the 1991 Open Data Incubator, a project that generated 50 startups, raising $700,000 through crowdfunding in two years. This triumph served as the impetus for SocialBoost to launch the 1991 Civic Tech Center, making it the first hub for developing public technological organizations and startups in Central and Eastern Europe.
Launched in late 2017 under the Economic Resilience Activity project, supported by USAID and Luminate fund, the 1991 Civic Tech Center aimed to propel projects in open data, e-democracy, and e-governance. Operating as a co-working space, it hosted competitive selections, membership fees, acceleration programs, and mentoring initiatives. The center held numerous events, fostering dialogue between the public sector, NGOs, and businesses, including the inaugural Civic Tech Summit.
The 1991 Civic Tech Center featured distinct zones—co-working, event, meeting, and office spaces. The co-working area, accommodating 43 residents, served as a hub for incubation programs and mentorship. With an event area for 100 attendees, it facilitated workshops, lectures, and startup events. The meeting rooms were accessible to incubation program participants and center residents. This pioneering hub aimed to support projects enhancing accountability, e-democracy, urban infrastructure, education, healthcare, energy services, and election monitoring.
During its two-year operation, the center hosted 300 full-time residents, conducted over 400 events, and incubated 11 programs, fostering a dynamic community. It facilitated a surge in civic tech projects, becoming a pivotal nexus for public organizations, social startups, donors, foundations, and venture funds. Notably, the center initiated collaborations with NGOs and the state sector, hosting thematic events and GovTech Meetups. The culmination was the annual Civic Tech Summit, underscoring the center's significance as a focal point for innovation and collaboration. The center ceased operations in November 2019, leaving a legacy of transformative impact on civic tech in the region.