San Francisco Hosts PDF Liberation Hackathon, January 17-19

Courtesy of Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

Photo Courtesy of Open Knowledge Foundation Blog is all about inspiring leaders and inciting action to foster social change. That’s why we’re excited to host the PDF Liberation Hackathon’s West Coast event at RallyPad in San Francisco, CA, Friday through Sunday, Jan. 17-19.

This innovative 48-hour event, which will also take place in Washington D.C., New York City and Chicago, will bring developers and researchers together to come up with new ways to answer to old questions. Hackathon participants will troubleshoot different solutions for extracting large amounts of data sets from PDF documents. PDFs (in their current format) restrict the way that open source models can analyze data.

Read this excerpt from Marc Joffe’s guest blog post for “Math Babe” about the importance of this hackathon. The entire blog post can be found here.

“[O]pen source models can bring much needed transparency to scientific research, finance, education and other fields plagued by biased, self-serving analytics. Models often need large volumes of data, and if the model is to be run on an ongoing basis, regular data updates are required.

Unfortunately, many data sets are not ready to be loaded into your analytical tool of choice; they arrive in an unstructured form and must be organized into a consistent set of rows and columns. This cleaning process can be quite costly. Since open source modeling efforts are usually low dollar operations, the costs of data cleaning may prove to be prohibitive. Hence no open model – distortion and bias continue their reign.”

Visit this page to register for the PDF Liberation Hackathon.

Rally in the News: Hot Startups in 2013, ALS Awareness, The Last Mile



Curious to learn about what keeps the team busy? Here’s an update…

Rally joins dozens of other companies on AngelList’s top 100 startups to watch in 2013. ReadWrite posted the list yesterday, which features some of the most intriguing innovators in 10 categories, including education, healthcare, and publishing.

The San Francisco Chronicle profiled Jim Tracy, the subject of a new documentary and the focus of a related Rally fundraiser. Tracy has spent decades training teens to race, despite being sometimes homeless and destitute, becoming the winningest high-school cross-country coach in California history. The film Running for Jim follows Tracy and the girls’ team at San Francisco University High School during an extraordinary season and shocking state-championship race. The lifelong competitive runner now lives with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. To support the film and Rally for ALS awareness, check out the fundraising page here.

Ray Harts, a graduate of The Last Mile (TLM) tech incubator at San Quentin State Prison, recently talked about his experiences with TLM and interning at on Press:Here, a technology roundtable on NBC affiliates around San Francisco and Silicon Valley. He was also interviewed for a story about TLM in the Valley’s Mercury News.

Keep your eye on this blog to find out more about the team and the Rally leaders fundraising for the people and causes that matter most to them.

Rally in the Community, GLIDE, and the San Francisco Giants



Several weeks ago, the family lent a helping hand at GLIDE, a San Francisco-based church and non-profit committed to uplifting marginalized communities at risk of remaining in poverty. About 20 Rally staffers spent a Sunday afternoon volunteering with GLIDE’s Feed the Hungry meal program, bussing tables, filling up water jugs, ferrying dishes back and forth, and plating meals.

GLIDE continues to have a busy year celebrating its 50th anniversary relaunch, an influx of activism and outreach spearheaded by longtime advocates Rev. Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani. The San Francisco Giants will host a CELEBRATE50 tribute to the couple on Friday the 24th at AT&T Park. For more information about attending the tribute night, check out the San Francisco Giants’ special-events page.

Click this link to learn about GLIDE’s volunteer programs and community development. You can contribute to GLIDE at the organization’s Rally page here.

Push ups for charity? Startups in the Bay Area sweat it out for a good cause

Rally is excited to be the fundraising platform of choice right in it’s own backyard in San Francisco. In a city where you can’t walk a block without running into someone starting a company or sharing their idea to change the world, a number of startups are participating in some unique competitive fundraising events. We recently caught up with Dan Murphy a team member at Udemy and one of the co-founders of along with Max Altschuler and Holly Mac. 

Rally: What is PushUpCharity.Org?

Dan: It all began about a month ago—we started doing pushups in the office as a way to keep fit and re-energize at work. We loved what we started and had this brilliant idea to get more companies involved and have a pushup challenge for charity! We told a few of our startup friends about our cool idea and everyone was pumped to do it. Thus, PushUpCharity.Org was born! Rally.Org is the online fundraising platform for this event and each participating startup also has Fan Fundraising page on Rally.  Don’t forget to show us some love at

We’ve got some badass DJ’s, free drinks and promise you an event that will keep you begging for more! Bring your friends, grab some tickets and come on over to cheer for your favorite startup! We want this event to kick-start a series of similar fun-filled evenings that benefit charitable organizations. So you never know, you could be up on stage the next time showing off some of your cool skills!

Rally: Who’s participating and how can I attend?

At this inaugural event GitHub, Udemy, 99designs, HotelTonight and Zaarly will get up on stage IN COSTUMES and compete in this push up challenge – the first team to finish 100 push ups wins!

Our goal is to raise $12,500 in donations for organizations like and We want to build a community of people who have fun and support charitable organizations in the Bay Area.

Get your spectator tickets at PushUp Charity. See you there!