Technology Grants Awarded Today

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Link: Telecommunications Commission picks technology grant recipients. (City of Austin press release)

The Austin Grant for Technology Opportunities (GTOPS) awards for 2003 were announced today. The GTOPS program, now in its third year, provides funds for local technology and media programs that serve the community. The grants are small (up to $20,000) and must be matched by donated funds or services raised from the community.

The program is supervised by the City of Austin Telecommunications Commission, on which I serve. In the two prior years, I served on the GTOPS selection committee. So, it's been exciting watching the program thrive, and all the good things that have been done by the award recipients.

One of the reasons why I like GTOPS so much is that the organizations are able to take the modest awards from the City and use them as leverage for their own fundraising and publicity efforts. The GTOPS program requires a 1:1 match on the grants, but the groups usually parlay their grants into a much more significant stake.

We were able to maintain GTOPS through one tough budget cycle. The next one is going to be even worse. I hope the council and residents think the program is valuable, and worth continued funding.