TOP NEWS Data-Crowdsourcing Startup Hires Maury Blackman, Preps for Expansion in U.S. The company, Premise Data, has built up a global network of (mostly) paid contributors who help organizations gather information. Up until now, they've mostly worked in foreign countries, but as they prepare to push for more business in the U.S. — including with state and local government — they've hired former Accela leader Maury Blackman. California City Wants to Pioneer the Blockchain Muni Bond Berkeley, Calif., is thinking about using Neighborly  to issue bonds on the blockchain to fund programs helping the homeless. More here.   Fighting the Flu, with Data One county is turning to the data visualization startup LiveStories to help its public safety campaign against the flu.   Pondera Hires New Board Member The startup, which helps governments find fraud, waste and abuse in programs, has brought in an IT industry veteran.   Global Firm Acquires Indian Startup that Developed City Water Solutions Xylem has bought out the Indiana-based startup EmNet, which spun out of Notre Dame University and helped its home city of South Bend avoid combined sewer overflows during rain storms.   A Word or Three on Marijuana There was a lot to talk about in cannabis regulation tech this week: An Oregon audit recommended more IT staff to beef up security in its marijuana tracking system, Washington state's own tracking system ran into big problems with users and a new company approached lawmakers about setting up a blockchain-based system for documenting weed sales. MARKET SPOTLIGHT The Gov Tech Market in 2017: A Retrospective The latest data is out from the Center for Digital Government. Here's what the state and local government technology market looked like in 2017. WATCHLIST GovTech company on our radar this week:

Catalytic: Workflow automation, with a twist or two. Catalytic has built machine-learning based tools to push data from one system to another, documenting steps along the way and recommending improvements to the workflow.

Run a GovTech company? Get on our radar here.

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Announcing the $175 Million AI Fund (Andrew Ng/Medium)   Hacking a Smart Snow Plow for Jersey City (Adriana Valdez Young/Medium)   Louisville, Ky., Plans to Use Drones to Respond to ShotSpotter Alerts (Smart Cities Dive) GovTechBiz is our weekly newsletter covering the companies, deals and trends in the business of gov tech. Got a news tip? Other feedback? We're listening. Send it to GovTechBiz Writer Ben Miller at biz@govtech.com.