Project teams work closely together throughout the 16-week residency  to ensure that the solution is co-developed and relevant, to the department’s mission and its relationship to other city services. In this way, the program serves as a pathway for departments to have customized tools that fit their unique problems, along with an opportunity for startups to learn how to provide products that can be easily adapted and scaled in a cost-effective and resource-efficient way.

Build with, not for. STIR teams prioritize inclusive design and receive input and insights from the communities and stakeholders to understand the context and challenges being faced. As the solutions are prototyped, they are also tested regularly with stakeholders to ensure the continued feedback.

Learn the lingo. Government and startups have their unique  language. As you get to know each other, take the time to learn about the differences in how you talk, spell-out the acronyms, explain new concepts and share your unique process.  

Development sprints for rapid feedback. Establish a cadence for achieving deliverables which allows real-time feedback and ongoing reprioritization of project resources. Cycle (or “sprints”) of a week or two each is a great way to build trust, see progress and course correct on the fly, instead of realizing it’s too late.