OpenCounter builds tools to help cities support local economic development. We offer two products: OpenCounter, a "one-stop-shop" for starting a business, and ZoningCheck, a lightweight zoning lookup tool. By moving these functions online, OpenCounter makes important city services available 24/7, and helps cities become truly "business friendly.”
OpenCounter helps entrepreneurs to navigate the business registration process. It asks the right questions, in the right order, so applicants can see the requirements, fees, and processing time that apply to their planned use and location. By making information available across departments, OpenCounter helps municipalities coordinate internal workflows, and build better relationships with new business owners.SEE HOW IT WORKS
ZoningCheck is the first effort of its kind to translate the language of the planning code into a format that citizens can easily understand. By calculating zoning clearances in a matter of seconds—instead of days—ZoningCheck helps entrepreneurs explore their options so they can find the perfect home for their next company.SEE HOW IT WORKS
Peter Koht is a civics nerd. An experienced economic development professional, most recently Peter worked for the City of Santa Cruz. Peter worked on a number of issues at the City, from leading a regional broadband policy group to opening up City data to spearheading policy initiatives that lowered administrative barriers to job creation. Previous to his public sector role, he worked in technology and media. When not working, Peter runs trails and surfs.
Joel Mahoney is a civic technologist and entrepreneur. He was an inaugural fellow at Code for America, and served as a technical advisor to the organization. Before Code for America, Joel founded companies in the health and hospitality sectors. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times. He won an International Design for Experience Award in the Public Sector category for his work with the City of Boston.
“OpenCounter provides an excellent tool to navigate the complex permitting procedures of most cities and helps businesses understand their potential fees to avoid sticker shock. Most importantly, the tool provides an excellent way for us economic development geeks to walk a company through the permitting process.”