Why Join STIR?

STIR connects government agencies with startups to co-develop technology products that address real civic challenges.

Entrepreneurs and startups at various stages of product and organization maturity can participate in the program.

The goal for both the startup and the government partner is to enter into a contract if the solution meets the needs identified in the co-created project plan and if the two parties have a positive working relationship.

The mostly remote program commences with government partners submitting challenges across areas such as civic engagement, mobility, public assets, public health and safety, and resident services.  These challenges have department-head support, a dedicated project manager throughout the residency, and a budget allocated for the solution. Through a streamlined procurement process, startups from around the world apply to relevant challenges.  These applications are reviewed and selected by government partners.

Over a 16-week project period, startup teams that are accepted into the program conduct user research, then design, build, and test a solution.  The residency concludes with national and local demo days, giving startups the opportunity to present their solution to a large audience of government, investors, and media.


Startup Benefits

  • Expedited procurement process: The program incorporates a streamlined procurement process, which means that startups can respond to an RFP in less than one hour and contracts can be executed immediately following the residency.
  • Deep Customer Insights: Throughout the residency, startups have a dedicated project manager from a government department to collaborate with on the project.  The program incorporates four weeks for user research and four weeks for product testing, giving startups an in-depth understanding of the challenge the government partner faces.
  • Access to STIR’s Government Network: Participation in the program gives startups access to the 30+ members of our government network.

Participating in Startup in Residence does not guarantee a government contract. However, many startups have successfully entered contracts with their partners at the conclusion of the program. Read more on STIR Stories.

Participant Expectations

  • Time Commitment: Startups must be willing to volunteer their time with their government agency partner during the residency.  The amount of time required for the program can vary depending on how developed the product is. Teams customizing an existing solution can expect to dedicate less time to the program than teams building a solution from scratch. On average, startups dedicate roughly 20% of their time to the program during the residency.  Government partners have a dedicated project manager assigned to each STIR challenge.
  • In-Person Collaboration: While the majority of the program is conducted remotely, startups must be able to meet with their government partner in person at a minimum of twice during residency, once for the scoping workshops in mid January 2019, and once during the 16-week residency.  
  • Pro Bono Residency: Startups participate in the 16 week residency on a pro bono basis.  Government partners obtain access to the technology solution only if and by the terms of a legal contract executed following the residency.   

Startups are expected to be responsive to the needs of their city partners within the mutually agreed upon scope of work. Startups must adhere to the Terms and Conditions outlined by their city.