What is Startup in Residence?

Local governments are tasked with tackling challenges from public health and safety to urban planning and resident engagement, but far too often, their technology and processes lag behind the private sector. There is a growing market for products and services designed to meet the needs of government customers.

Startup in Residence (STIR) connects startups with local governments to develop technology products that solve real civic challenges. During the 16-week program, startups work with government partners and mentors to understand a their pain points and build prototypes. Teams share their products with government staff, media, and investors on Demo Day.

Who Should Apply?

Entrepreneurs with a passion for civic technology and the skills to build a prototype in 16 weeks. We work with startups and entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds:

  • Startups with a product that can serve government customers
  • Technology firms who want to plug into the government technology industry and better understand the public sector
  • Individuals or new teams who want to build product based on a government buyer’s real market needs

Startups must be willing to volunteer their time with their government partner, typically about one day a week (20% of time) during the 16-week residency. In return, they receive these benefits:

  • Market insights: Startups witness firsthand the challenges faced by local governments, which are significant purchasers of technology goods and services.
  • Business opportunities: With personal connections and a prototype based on real user needs, startups have a head start for entering contract agreements with government customers.
  • Mentors and networks: Startups have access to office hours and mentor sessions with investors, founders, and designers who are leaders in the gov tech industry.

Choose a Challenge

Begin by reviewing the 2018 STIR challenges. Twelve cities and government agencies from across the United States have shared challenges facing their municipality:

  1. Boulder, CO
  2. Houston, TX
  3. Metropolitan Transportation Commission, CA
  4. Miami-Dade County, FL
  5. Richmond, VA
  6. San Francisco, CA
  7. Santa Cruz County, CA
  8. Santa Monica, CA
  9. Vallejo, CA
  10. Walnut Creek, CA
  11. Washington, D.C.
  12. West Sacramento, CA

You may apply to more than one city or government agency, but only one challenge per entity. For each challenge, you must submit a separate application.

Program Timeline

  • November 15 – December 10: The STIR application is open.
  • December: Startups interview with government departments.
  • January: Finalists are selected, offers are made and project scoping begins.
  • February to May: The 16-week program, concluding with Demo Day.
  • May-June: Contract negotiations for startups, per Department discretion.

General Questions

For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. If your question is not listed, you can submit a new question and it will be added to the FAQ. Deadline for questions is Friday, December 1 by 5pm PDT.

Source: Startup in Residence

Illustration Photo: San Francisco, USA (credits: erikccooper / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))


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