• Q. Why should I apply?

    A. STIR is the first program that allows startups to work with city partners to build, refine and/or co-develop products that address critical and meaningful civic challenges.

    The 16 week STIR residency also includes:

    Training and Tools

    STIR teams participate in a unique training program and learn from STIR ambassadors and strategic partners. The educational program provides technology startups and entrepreneurs working with government a foundational understanding of public sector context, contracting and procurement processes.


    We are fortunate to have incredible mentors and ambassadors that help guide our teams towards success. Refine and practice your pitch, demo your product with experts and leaders in government, business, investors, community and media.


    Cites and Startups who participate in STIR will gain access to the STIR network – platform for learning, sharing, and exchanging ideas amongst the cities and startups. Startups can access our learning libraries, to learn about government contracting, procurement, and sharing how products are co-developed. City staff can access our skill shares, that include learnings about agile development, user centered design, and many other skill-share resources. This platform for collaboration, convening and communication makes STIR the leading model of civic innovation at the local level.

  • Q. What is the program timeline?

    A. Application Opens: March 2017

    Application Deadline: April 2017

    Application Review Process and Selection: April 2017

    Startup and Government Teams Kick Off Program: May 2017

    Program Ends: August 2017 Product Pitch and Presentation

    Training: May – September 2017

    Demo Days: early-to-mid October 2017

    *Dates subject to change

  • Q. What are the participating cities?

    A.  In 2016, STIR partnered with the Cities of San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento.

  • Q. What are the benefits to government agencies?

    A. The first cohort 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 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 opportunity for startups and government to gain valuable insight, and work together to tackle  civic challenges.

  • Q. How is STIR different than a government contract?

    A. STIR is a program opportunity to test ideas and develop new technology products and services. 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. Startups selected by regional partners will also have the option to enter into a paid contract, at the discretion of 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 Demo Day and other opportunities regionally and nationally to share the work. 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.