Q. Why should I apply? 


  • Build or refine a product in 16 weeks with customer insights, data sets, and user-testing.
  • Startups selected by SF, have the possibility to enter into a paid contract with the sponsoring agency.
  • Work closely with 4 Northern California cities to deeply understand and participate in solving meaningful civic challenges.
  • Participate in a unique training program and learn from our ambassadors and mentors and strategic partners. Demo your product with experts and leaders in government, business, community and media.


Q. What is the program timeline? *dates subject to change

A.    Application Opens:  January 28

Application Deadline:  February 29

Application Review Process and Selection: March

Startup and Government Teams Kick Off Program: April

Program Ends:  July 2016

Product Pitch and Presentation Training: August 2016

Demo Days: early September 2016


Q. What are the participating cities?

A.  San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento


Q. What are the benefits to government agencies?

A. The first class of startups in 2014 demonstrated the significant potential of building bridges to early-stage companies, bringing the benefits of leading edge innovations in technology and services to the public sector. Equally important, the pilot program catalyzed internal culture change amongst government staff who participated, one noting that the program gave him “creative space to experiment in ways to tackle a problem.”  Also, government staff will receive mentoring and education as part of the 16-week program.


Q. Does STIR provide monetary assistance for startups?

A. No.  STIR provides a partnership platform for startups and government to gain valuable insight into civic challenges.  


Q. How is STIR different than a government contract?

A. STIR is a program opportunity to test ideas and develop new products. It is not a substitute for a contract to sell an existing product or service to government. Startups selected by SF, have the possibility to enter into a paid contract with the sponsoring agency.

Q. What is the duration of the program? What happens after?

A. STIR is a 16-week program followed by a month of preparation for a City Demo Day and Regional Showcase Events. For more information about post-program opportunities and options to continue to work with your city please refer to the city participation requirements. Startups selected by SF, have the possibility to enter into a paid contract with the sponsoring agency


Q. Does STIR provide mentorship, training, or networking opportunities for Startups and Government?

A. Yes. STIR is supported by leaders from across sectors who provide mentoring, on a variety of relevant topics ranging from leadership development, partnering with government, marketing and media training.  Startups also provide skill-sharing of relevant project management and IT related techniques with government during the program.


Q. Where do startups work? Is office space provided?

A. Startups will have meetings and work space in each city (access may vary) and will be introduced to strategic accelerator and local co-working space partners.


Q. How often do I need to work in-person with the City?

A. Schedules will be agreed upon with your partnering department, but at least 1 person from your team must be available in person once per week to meet with your city partner and participate in all trainings and workshops.


Q. Can I partner with multiple cities?

A. Startups will focus on one city during the 16-week program, but STIR provides opportunities to learn from, share experiences and network with regional cities.