Innovate for Vegas Foundation


Weekly Office Hours!

Our Monthly Hackathon Meetups are on hiatus, but we are adding a weekly virtual office hours session, starting at 1 hour on Thursdays, open to anyone who would like to find out what we are up to, talk about civic volunteering, how to collaborate across localities, or just about anything else along these lines.

Here are some important details:

  • We are using Jitsi, an open source, free-to-use, cross-platform video conference platform. There are mobile applications for Jitsi, and it works in your browser.
  • Our meetups are always open to anyone (with nearly zero exceptions), please join in and bring a friend or colleague who might be interested in what we are up to.
  • Please observer our Code of Conduct if you choose to participate. Since we know you aren´t going to read it, be pleasant, even if you want to argue.

We are looking forward to engaging with those interested in Civic Volunteerism, Civic Hacking, and Organizing Volunteers for Community Elevation!


Give a Listen!

We have a mostly-weekly audio program, published on Spotify and elsewhere, for discussions about Innovation, Hackathons, Projects, and more. As you read this, the episodes are pre-recorded and then posted, in the future we hope to enable a live streamed audio conversation (and then posting it later for posterity) and interaction with the live stream listeners. What about Video? Well let us get talks dot vegas up and running and we will get back to you!

Join in!

Civic Volunteerism is a highly-visible way to elevate our communities, but we also enable volunteers to gain valuable job skills and new items on their CVs that are valuable during a job search or pursuit of higher education. Open source development is a learning opportunity, a teaching opportunity, and a winning opportunity, for those involved and for those who reap the benefits of these endeavors. When you meet the people who benefit from your work, in your neighborhood, at your school or workplace, or maybe just out and about, you learn directly what it means to make things for others. This is true in the workaday world, to be sure, but it is not every day that you interact with the people you have helped with your language translations, visualizations, audio transformations, human interfaces, and applications. Here, you can!

People in our city and surrounding communities will often encounter a focus on 21+ events and gatherings. We encourage kids of all ages (with parental permission, if you please) to participate in our Monthly Hackathon Meetups, all projects, online activities, and everything else we do. We are proactively committed to inclusivity and to maintaining open doors for those of any age, an important part of our ethos.

We thank you in advance for contributing your time and innovative creativity, no matter your age, interests, or skill set, because You Are Welcome.

General Information

About Us

The Code for Vegas Foundation was rebooted from the original Code for Vegas in 2022, formed as an independent Nevada Nonprofit Corporation on 16 June 2022, and is a 501(c)(3) public charity determined by the IRS, effective retroactively from the time of our formation. While we had kept the name of our predecessor organization formed in 2014, we endeavor to include all comers wishing to contribute and collaborate on these civic projects and goals, without a specific focus on coding. Thus our pending legal name change to Innovate for Vegas Foundation, to be more inclusive and to look forward, not backward…


To enable and encourage civic ideation, innovation, and implementation to make our communities better.

This means focusing the energies of local innovators on our local communities for local innovation that Makes our Smart City Smarter.


Our core principles are essential:

  • Inclusivity
  • Diversity
  • Accessibility

These principles apply not only to project participation, but also to all meetups, gatherings, online publications, project deployments, and ongoing development of any type of work product. We invite all those interested in learning, contributing, and collaborating on civic projects designed to improve our communities, to do so with confidence and conviction!


We will invite members of the population at large to build an organization centered on civic volunteerism, skills development, and job creation, with a focus on Making our Smart City Smarter, improving Education, and driving our 3-word ethos: Inclusivity, Diversity, Accessibility.


Please find the latest versions of our policies on GitHub, visible using your web browser visiting these links:

tl;dr: Be civil at least, enable and encourage, elevate don’t castigate and above all if you are interested (and interesting?) you are invited so come on down and get involved!

Public Charity Determination and Donations!

As of 12 October 2022, Code for Vegas Foundation has received our determination letter from the IRS; we are a 501(c)(3) public charity retroactive to 16 June 2022 when we formed this Nonprofit Corporation in the State of Nevada. Our name change will flow to the IRS shortly, our EIN and determination status will not be effected. You can find our Foundation in the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search, where a copy of our Determination Letter may be found in the Final Letter section.

Our official re-naming with the IRS will be finalized with one letter and our 990 filing, then an update to our EIN name, update the banks and other services and vendors… There is always some red tape to cut through.

Would you like to support our local innovators and local innovation, which is entirely civic volunteerism in action? Any donations you would care to make via the link below, are tax deductible per our 501(c)(3) public charity determination and tax exempt status.

Donate Direct

We Are Global!

As is the case so often with Open Source Projects, all of our work is open to collaboration with others in the civic volunteer universe.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority there are approximately 40 million people visiting our Oasis in the Desert for 2023 (give or take), and we would like very much for those visitors to try civic volunteer projects out for themselves! And, to bring their experiences back home with them, so they will understand the value of time spent by volunteers to make their communities better, where they live each day and when they visit other places.

Beginning July 1, 2023, we have asked Mary Fey Long Norris to join our Board of Directors (and she has!) to help us reach out to civic volunteers all over the United States, to collaborate on our projects and to bring theirs to our little test site, so that more people from more places can learn about what we do to elevate our communities and perhaps make things work a little bit better, and maybe make some ideas come to life for people to try…


As a Nevada Nonprofit Corporation, the Innovate for Vegas Foundation has filled the following roles to govern the operation and growth of this organization:

Profile Picture, Dan Hugo
Dan Hugo, Managing Director

Founder of ReallyCool Technologies, LLC, Maker of Friends, Friend of Makers, making the most noise most of the time on behalf of the Innovate for Vegas Foundation.

Dan Hugo on LinkedIn
Profile Picture, Shawn Looker
shawn looker, Director

Co-founder and Co-Captain of the original Code for Vegas Brigade in 2014, part of Code for America. Shawn brings the origin story of Code for Vegas to the present day Innovate for Vegas Foundation.

shawn looker on LinkedIn
Profile Picture, Mary Fey Long Norris
Mary Fey Long Norris, Director

Executive Director of Open Fresno (formally Code for Fresno) in collaboration with Code for Sacramento. Locally a Madera County Grand Jury Member 2022-2023, and 2023-2024. Safety Net Service's Specialist for over a decade.

Mary Fey Long Norris on LinkedIn

Ongoing Projects

Each month we add another project topic to the mix, as part of our pursuit of the overall Capstone Projects. The monthly topic focus is valuable alone, but as part of the overall project plan each contributes more value to the whole than each individual part.

  1. Open Transit was the very first monthly topic and aims to bring project development to Las Vegas locals who may themselves use our public transit system, or know someone who does. This is an ongoing project.
  2. Open Data Capture Platform is a modification of the second monthly topic, Earth Month, but increased substantially in scope and relevance. The City of Las Vegas has a substantial collection of Open Data datasets published online, this project will aim to enable crowd-sourced open data collection as well as modern methods of software access to these data for creative uses that we have yet to think of. This is an ongoing project.
  3. Smart Social is the way a Smart City communicates with itself. Rather than relying on Nextdoor or Twitter or other social media platforms, the goal is to make use of modern and open standards, tools people have at their disposal without requiring installation of proprietary and questionable software or other products, and ideally built with our ethos in mind (this includes language translations and general accessibility). This is an ongoing project.
  4. My Muni is the Human Interface for our (and your) Smart City. Rather than asking people to install mobile applications on devices they may not own, we will attempt to build open standards interfaces to Open Data and other services and information so that more people have more access to more information and interaction. This is an ongoing project.
  5. vLocal is an essential component of the online and, eventually, offline real-world experience of what we all know as Locals. People who are a part of the communities that are Las Vegas, whether within the city limits, a little bit farther away in Southern Nevada, or maybe much farther away but visiting now and then. Ideally this project will focus on secure communication credentials as well as secure online identities to facilitate participation in the various other projects (Smart Social, My Muni, etc) while addressing concerns around identity compromise. This is an ongoing project.
  6. Welcome is like our My Muni project, where we examine and consider our city and communities from the perspective of visitors, whether they are tourists, sports fans, conference attendees, in to see family and friends, or simply passing through, a Smart City can be a great experience for temporary visitors, not only providing a delightful time among locals, but gifting them when some impressions to bring home with them, and to look forward to next time they come by!

Capstone Projects

Do we need more projects? Of course! Each monthly project focus is not only useful and valuable on its own, but each will come together as part of a larger project with even more general utility than each of the individual projects we tackle each month (and again, these are always ongoing projects). Each monthly project, and each capstone project, will bring job skills development and, ideally, actual jobs to participants, whether that participation is in the form of software code development, graphics, human interface, media development, content creation, artistic works, internationalization and localization efforts, accessibility checks, quality assurance, and even marketing, sales, and project management. Each role is essential and each contributor gets credit for their effort from start to finish.

Virtual Vegas

Virtual Vegas is a Digital Twin implementation, making maximal use of Open Data datasets and all of the specific topics addressed month over month, the goal is to enable the smartest of smart applications and other projects developments to enable discovery, learning, and participation in our Smart City. It would be easy to compare this project to something like Civilization or Sim City, and both of those would be valid comparisons, but this project will aim to be a platform on which someone might build a game similar to these, or develop open news tools, neighborhood communications tools, safety visualizations, and so on. The possibilities are endless!


This is a capstone in the earliest phases of planning and discussion. Early thinking is to enable a more flexible education platform for students of all ages in the Las Vegas area, adapting what was learned during school closures in pandemic lockdown intervals, adaptation to different learning styles, and enabling learning at different rates for different students, especially in cases where there might be a teacher staffing shortage. If Making our Smart City Smarter is the ultimate goal of the Innovate for Vegas Foundation, Education and an educated populace are the bedrock foundation on which this goal is best built.

Useful Info

Contact Us

If you are unable to attend our in-person or online events, there are other ways we try to interact with our constituents:

There is a link on for the former Code for Vegas group formed in 2014. The meetup group account is owned and operated by Code for America and is not affiliated with Innovate for Vegas Foundation.

Email and Github

We will be launching our email list server to share updates about projects and events using the classic, yet still very useful, communication tool known as Electronic Mail. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send an email message to

If you would like to be added as a member of our Github Organization for purposes of collaborating and contributing to projects, please send an email with your preferred Github Handle to

Fine Print

The Innovate for Vegas Foundation (pending legal name change from Code for Vegas Foundation) is a Nevada Nonprofit Corporation, Nevada Business ID NV20222489556, formed on 16 June 2022. As of 12 October 2022, we have received our determination letter from the IRS and we are a 501(c)(3) public charity. To support Innovate for Vegas Foundation activities, any donations made prior to determination of 501(c)(3) status are retroactively tax-deductible to our formation date of 16 June 2022. This is not tax advice, please seek advice from your tax preparer. Our one-word name change will not impact our Nevada Business ID, nor our 501(c)(3) status, though the original name may appear in some cases, such as when making a donation or searching for our organization in some databases and services.

Please email any questions concerning donations and our determination status to

The previous Code for Vegas Foundation logo is an original design by Justin Pecayo.

This website will always be a work in progress. Ideally it will evolve into a properly accessible portal useful for interacting with this foundation and its endeavors. Over time, as more projects are deployed for use, this website and other related Foundation websites will likely make use of them to demonstrate our progress.

Website content is published Copyright(c) 2022-2023 by Innovate for Vegas Foundation. Logos and other creative works included on this website are used with permission with copyrights held by respective owners.