What is STIR?2circles

STIR connects government agencies with startups to develop technology products that address civic challenges. Over 16 weeks, startups and government work together to co-develop a solution that creates real impact.

Our Mission

The core mission of STIR is to bring together government and startups to explore ways to use technology to make government more accountable, efficient and responsive. Since 2014, we have tackled dozens of civic challenges such as: streamlining the foster care process, recovering quickly from an earthquake, and giving homeless people the services they need in real time.

Our Goals


between government and startups to bring innovative technologies, services, and processes into the public sector.


to approach civic challenges in new ways and apply new methodologies.


to create better products and services that address critical needs.

History of STIR

Technology has been the biggest driver of productivity and innovation gains in many sectors – with government being a notable exception. The nascent govtech ecosystem lacks one critical element – access to the needs and insights  of government. To bridge this gap, the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation created the Startup in Residence (STIR) program.

Following the successful 2014 “Entrepreneurship in Residence” pilot initiative, in 2015 the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration awarded the City & County of San Francisco a 3 year grant to scale the Startup in Residence program to Oakland, San Leandro, and West Sacramento. In 2016, 14 startups worked with 13 departments in 4 cities.

Vision for Growth

In partnership with Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, we want to create a global network of 100 cities over the next 5 years. We’re doing this because we see three big opportunities: The first opportunity is to digitally transform government to be more efficient, effective, equitable and responsive; The second opportunity is for value exchange – government staff learning how to become more entrepreneurial, adopt lean and human centered methodologies – and for startups to deeply understand the needs of government; The third opportunity is to drive economic development by lowering the barriers for local small businesses to partner with government.


Mayor Edwin M. Lee established the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation (MOCI) in January 2012 to help make government more collaborative, inventive, and responsive for San Franciscans. Our mission is to support City Departments by introducing new approaches, resources, and technology for Mayoral priorities. We work with City Departments, community partners, and residents to drive impact on some of the City’s biggest challenges.