Case Studies

Binti & San Francisco
Streamlining the process for becoming a foster parent.

LotaData & San Leandro
Visualizing data from community centers to better serve residents.

Preschool2me & Oakland
Simplifying outreach and enrollment for a child development program.

Appledore & West Sacramento
Mapping homeless encampments to deliver essential services.



The NLC Announces $100 Million in Local Partnerships

NLC Press Release

Today, the National League of Cities (NLC) is announcing $100 million in local partnerships to expand America’s innovation economy.. Fourteen cities are partnering with City Innovate to establish or expand their local Startup in Residence programs. These programs connect startups with government agencies to co-develop technology solutions to pressing civic challenges. Read full press release.


Startup in Residence program expands national cohort


The Startup in Residence (STIR) program has expanded to 31 governments or agencies for the 2019 cohort, according to StateScoop and others. The program pairs global startup companies with local governments in North America to use technology to solve some of the problems that cities face.
For the first time a state, Pennsylvania, is included among the participants. The cities participating are: San Francisco; Boulder, CO; Las Vegas; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles; Memphis, TN; Mobile, AL; Montreal; Portland, OR; San Jose, CA; Fremont, CA; Norfolk, VA; Napa, CA; and Edmonton, Alberta.
STIR announced earlier this year that it intends to expand to 100 participants, which it anticipates will happen within five years.

Startup in Residence expands to 31 cities and states for 2019


The Startup in Residence program that pairs startups with local governments announced an expansion to 31 cities, regions, states and regional transit agencies on Wednesday, signaling the next step in its quest to reach 100 cities and communities in the next five years.

The program, also known as STIR, was formerly led from the San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office of Innovation, and has since grown into a national platform for cities to partner with startups to solve civic challenges with new technologies.

Southern Nevada agencies added to Startup in Residence program

Las Vegas Review Journal

Startups from all over the country might be able to work with government agencies in Southern Nevada on areas such as transportation and public safety.

Henderson, Las Vegas and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada were among 31 agencies chosen for a program developed by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation.

The 2019 Startup in Residence program will connect the agencies with startups to solve problems such as transportation, according to Laura Fucci, the chief information officer for Henderson. She said she hopes this program will position the city as a destination for technology companies.

“If we can have more technology companies in our community, it feeds into economic development, it feeds into jobs, it makes our city more vibrant,” she said.

The RTC of Southern Nevada is looking at addressing challenges in areas such as interactions among vehicles and pedestrians, fixed routes — such as a bus system — and paratransit systems, which transport people with disabilities.

Through Startup in Residence, Napa Wants to Personalize the Tourism Experience


Plenty of people already visit California's Napa Valley, north of the San Francisco Bay Area. They come for the wine. They come for the food. They come for the scenery.

But the city wants to add a little layer on top of all that: a tech-enabled, personalized experience much like what the tech giants of San Francisco and Silicon Valley have already made commonplace in visitors’ lives.

That’s the idea the city is carrying with it as it participates in Startup in Residence (STiR) — a program that pairs up startups with governments to come up with new solutions to problems — for the first time. Peter Pirnejad, Napa’s assistant city manager, said the goal is to promote tourism anchored within the city of Napa, specifically.

Norfolk joins national Startup in Residence program

WAVY (T.V. website)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) -- The City of Norfolk is participating in the national Startup in Residence program, which connects government agencies with startups to find technological solutions to challenges cities face.

Mayor Kenny Alexander made the announcement on Wednesday.

"Startup in Residence is another tool to help strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and develop creative solutions to our challenges in Norfolk," Alexander said.

The program, which started in 2014 in San Francisco, runs 16 weeks. Past projects included streamlining the process of foster care, putting smart sensors on trash cans and improving health services for the homeless.

A residency for tech start-ups in YEG

Edmonton AM (radio program)

The city is looking to use the brain power of tech startups to solve civic challenges. We'll find out more about a residency program from San Francisco that's launching here.

San Francisco’s trash gets help from tech

SF Examiner

The plaza in front of the Ferry Building was packed last Sunday. Unfortunately, so were the public trash cans lining the Embarcadero. Coffee cups overflowed into the street. Bags and boxes of garbage, potentially illegally dumped, slumped against the bins’ sides.

In a City working to clean up its streets and reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfills these uncontained heaps are an unwelcome occurrence. In addition to making our sidewalks dirty and unattractive, improperly disposed garbage increases pests and the need for City resources.

But tech companies – also sometimes considered an unwelcome occurrence in San Francisco – may offer a solution.

City of Boulder rejoins Startup in Residence program


BOULDER — The city of Boulder is joining the national Startup in Residence program this year, after a successful experience in 2017.

Startup in Residence is a 16-week program that connects startups and government to work together. The program started as a pilot in 2014 in San Francisco, but has since expanded to cities like Houston and Washington D.C.

“We are very excited to be a part of the 2019 cohort,” Julia Richman, chief innovation and technology officer for the city of Boulder, said in a prepared statement. “We learned a lot participating in 2017, helping us make this years’ experience even better. The Startup in Residence program is a great way for us to move toward real solutions addressing our city’s key needs and challenges, while at the same time honing our ability to engage and partner with the incredible innovators in the startup community here in Boulder and nationally.”

Since the program started, 44 startups from around the world have joined government departments, sharing technological solutions addressing civic challenges.

Any startups interested in joining Boulder’s Startup in Residence can register online. The companies will be notified when the city challenges are made public and the application process opens, which is expected to be Sept. 25.

Here Are 7 Startups That Are Working with Cities


Last week’s Bridge SF conference in San Francisco was all about startups. They covered community engagement, cybersecurity, transportation, artificial intelligence, human-centric design and more. Government Technology already rounded up many of the Startup in Residence (STiR) companies that demonstrated their work through that program, but many more startups made an appearance. Here’s a look at some of those doing business with California cities.

Startup in Residence Aims to Expand to 100 Cities

Dr. SG

The Startup in Residence (STiR) program, which matches tech companies with local government workers to help them solve public-sector problems, wants to grow a lot bigger. The program, which started in San Francisco in 2014, has since expanded to 11 local governments across the U.S. But on May 22, as its most recent round of companies demonstrated their work at the Bridge SF conference in San Francisco, STiR's leaders announced they want to grow to include 100 local governments within five years.

Bridge SF Conference Links Up with Startup in Residence

Dr. KG

Bridge SF, a three-day summit focused on innovation and technology in government, is joining up with the Startup in Residence (STiR) program this year while shifting the focus of the event. The summit, which is in its fourth year, will be held at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center and LinkedIn headquarters in San Francisco in late May. Day one will feature demonstrations from companies involved with STiR, a program that has spread from San Francisco to cities across the country where companies embed themselves with local government workers in order to build better tools for them. There will be 20 startups and nine cities featured in those demos.

A case for expanding government’s procurement reach


Joe Rinzel of Americans for a Modern Economy argues that state and local governments should look to California as a model for a more diverse contracting talent pool. Amongst the successful initiatives in California being mentioned is Startup-In-Residence, which has created an ecosystem of innovation of the best-idea-wins approach to public-private partnerships. Rinzel states that STIR should be the blueprint for states around the country as they prepare to tackle the challenges their communities face in the 21st century.

Meet the Boss – Exclusive Interview with SyncFab CEO Jeremy Goodwin


SyncFab was started in 2013 and has partnered with the cities of San Francisco, San Leandro, and Oakland as part of their civic innovation Startup in Residence program. They have also been recognized by the White House, U.S. Department of Energy and Commerce for their involvement in the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Initiative and National Network for Manufacturing Initiative.

Bridge between Startups and Local Government – Interview with SF Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath


In this interview with Jay Nath, Chief Innovation Officer of San Francisco, Nath talks in detail about how STIR is providing startups with a low risk foray into the world of government technology and allowing government agencies to take advantage of new technologies quickly to accelerate better outcomes for residents. This opportunity for startups to engage in civic affairs and potentially be set on a path of steady long-term business with the public sector has proved to be appealing to more than just the San Francisco Bay Area. The 2018 STIR program has extended to 12 local governments in California, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Virgina, and Washington, DC. STIR welcomes applications from startups, tech firms, and individuals.

US cities are bringing tech startups into city hall to take on social issues


The Startup in Residence Program, started in California in 2014, has spread to over a dozen local governments across the US - even inspiring similar programs in Holland and Canada.

Startup in Residence expands nationally with aspirations of a civic network


Washington, D.C., is leading the East Coast expansion of a program that has become well-known among startups in the Bay Area. Archana Vemulapalli, the district's chief technology officer, said her hope is to build similar awareness in a region with many people who already have a "service attitude."

Startup in Residence program Expands to 12 Jurisdictions Nationwide


Startup in Residence (STiR) is undergoing a second major expansion, from working only in the Northern California region in 2016 to an extensive list of 2018 participants that includes Boulder, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Richmond, VA; Washington, D.C.; and six other jurisdictions in California. While the size and scope of this program are expanding, the focus remains the same: to make it easier for tech startups to break into government while at the same time helping to solve public problems with private-sector innovation.

Startup Partnerships Drive Open Data, Citizen-Centric Service Efforts in San Leandro, Calif.


San Leandro, California, has launched an open data page, a GIS data page, and a dashboard to guide citizens to services based on their demographic profile, and it's done so with help from the Startup in Residence program.

West Sacramento, Calif., Uses New Tech Platform to Address Homelessness


Through the Startup in Residence program, city workers collaborated with developers to create Outreach Grid, a program designed to improve municipal efforts to address homelessness.

D.C. to lead East Coast growth of Startup in Residence program


“As we continue to make Washington, D.C., the capital of inclusive innovation, we are thrilled to bring this innovative effort to D.C. and lead efforts on the East Coast,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “This initiative supports my administration’s vision to find innovative ways to improve services and tackle our biggest challenges through technology.”

3 cities show what a national Startup in Residence program can do


San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter said her city’s participation in the program unlocked new technologies previously out of reach for the local government, while infusing new working methods and thought processes into departments.

Startups Deliver Gov Tech Pitches at STIR Demo Day 2017


During five-minute pitches, the startups laid out a host of innovative solutions, ranging from touchscreen kiosks that guide citizens through San Francisco’s city hall to a personalized dashboard that allows visitors to customize their own experiences on San Leandro’s city website.

San Francisco proves that city-startup collaboration can work


Startup In Residence has proven that it is possible to bridge the gaps between government and the technology center, fostering a culture of innovation in government and teaching city staff to approach problems in more modern, nimble ways. Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce through a three-year grant, STiR is now also supported by a diverse array of collaborators including Nasdasq Entrepreneurial Center, Civic Makers, ImpactHubSF, Runway Incubator, Wearable IoT World Labs, and many other thought leaders, mentors, and ambassadors. Jay Nath, San Francisco's Chief Innovation Officer, talks in detail about STiR's beginnings, challenges, and future plans for growth.

San Francisco Startup in Residence program seeks replicable solutions through national expansion


"There's something very powerful about putting a network of cities together," said Jay Nath. "You could imagine people sharing the successes that have occurred in their city and being able to take those successes into other cities."

San Francisco’s Startup in Residence Program Seeks to Expand Across North America


In 2018, San Francisco’s Startup in Residence program, which embeds fledgling technology companies inside government to help solve public-sector problems, is looking to expand into other cites across North America.

San Leandro, Calif., Chief Innovation Officer Deborah Acosta on Creating a ‘Tech and Innovation Ecosystem’


Deborah Acosta, one of the country's first innovation officers, spoke with GovTech about creating a smart city strategy for San Leandro and working with the Startup in Residence program.

Jurisdictions Can Work with Entrepreneurs — But the Process Isn’t Without Hurdles


Binti needed a bridge across the civic tech chasm, and San Francisco built them one. In 2014, the city launched a program called Startup in Residence. As chief innovation officer for the tech-heavy city and county of San Francisco, Jay Nath knew the benefits that cooperation between the public and private sectors could reap.

3 Startups That Are Improving the Urban Experience


LotaData transforms mobile geolocation signals into what they call "people intelligence." Their CityDash product is an A.I. platform that "enables government leaders and decision makers to unlock the wealth of insights in public and private data to create social impact and engage with local communities."

San Francisco’s RFP Bus Speeds Up, Streamlines IT Procurement


After learning how difficult it was to procure a new system piloted during the 2014 Startup in Residence program, San Francisco’s IT officials sought a better, faster method for future iterations of the initiative. Last year, the city debuted the RFP Bus. The entire process takes a total of six weeks, and 20-plus contracts have been created through the program so far.

Ash Center Announces Finalists and Top 25 Programs for Innovations in American Government Award

Harvard University

Startup in Residence was recognized as one of the top 25 programs in the Innovations in American Government Awards, a competition hosted by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

How Government Is Reforming IT Procurement and What it Means for Vendors


Binti developed software to help foster care agencies process people applying to house children, and priced the software so that most counties in California wouldn’t need to go out to bid to buy it. Within five months, 19 counties signed on as customers.

STIR Startup Binti Rapidly Signs California Clients with Foster Care Software


After graduating from San Francisco’s Startup in Residence program, one tech company has rapidly expanded its government business, signing 19 California counties on as customers in a five-month span. Binti used STIR to develop software to help speed up the process of approving applicants to become foster parents.

The Different Paths Los Angeles And San Francisco Are Taking To Spur Civic Innovation

Fast Company

Both cities realized they could tap into their startup communities to help make government services run better. And both cities provide lessons in the benefits — and pitfalls — of doing so.

San Francisco proves that city-startup collaboration can work


It’s tough for startups – with shorter capital runways and track records – to work with the long sales cycles, aging systems and bureaucratic requirements of cities. And governments often find themselves frustrated, working with legacy systems that need the support of new technology to keep up with the increases in urbanization and use of services.

Mayor Lee Announces STIR Program Results

San Francisco News

Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced the results of the 2016 Startup in Residence program. Startup in Residence is a 16-week program with the goal of addressing regional civic challenges, and the announcement highlighted new technology products that were developed from the program.

Leveraging Startup Culture to Improve Local Government

The Intersector Project

As advancements in technology revolutionize customer experiences in every aspect of residents’ lives, local governments are under pressure to adapt or risk losing the trust of the communities they serve. However, governmental entities are organized to be risk-averse and slow to change. How can local governments bridge this gap?

2016 Startup in Residence Program Comes to a Close as Participants Showcase Inventions


Tech entrepreneurs partnering with San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro, and West Sacramento reveal how they are reinventing city services in California and beyond.

Gov Tech Companies Are Finding a Business Model


Investor interest is helping to point a lot of startup energy at government. Does this mean there’s a place for innovation at city hall?

14 Startups Chosen for San Francisco Regional ‘Startup in Residence’ Program


The California cities of San Francisco, Oakland, West Sacramento, and San Leandro partner to embed startup solutions in city departments.

To Make Cities More Efficient, Fix Procurement To Welcome Startups

Aspen Institute

The Startup In Residence Program is experimenting with how to remove friction associated with RFPs for both government staff and startups. This should result in a significant decrease in turnaround time for both the government staff publishing RFPs and the startups responding to them. Ultimately, the plan is to publish an open-source playbook for other to contribute and improve upon the ideas for re-imagining the procurement process.

Programs seeks entrepreneurs to tackle civic challenges

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco needs a way to text public health information to residents and an online lottery for reserving sports fields. Oakland needs an app for Head Start outreach and software to guide residents in bringing their homes up to code. The two cities, along with West Sacramento and San Leandro, are now seeking entrepreneurs to tackle these and other challenges.

How To STIR Up Innovation


The mission of the Startup in Residence program is "to bring together government and startups to explore ways to use technology to make government more accountable, efficient, and responsive.” It’s the usual boring description of a government program. The reality, however, is much different. In fact, the program has become ground zero for how smart cities and smart startups are going to come together in the future.

How Startups Are Helping Build a 21st Century Government

Huffington Post

Jeremy Goldberg announced the launch of the second Startup in Residence program for entrepreneurs to work with San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro, and West Sacramento to develop technology-based solutions that address challenges facing local government. The program need entrepreneurs and technologists to help build a 21st-century government — one that’s efficient, effective and responsive.

San Francisco Recruits Three California Cities for Regional ‘Startup in Residence’ Program


Building on a program from 2014, the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation announced during a January 28 press conference the 2016 Startup in Residence program that includes a regional partnership with the neighboring cities of Oakland, San Leandro, and West Sacramento.

City Governments Are Collaborating With Startups, and Acting Like Ones Themselves


Americans often consider local city governments to be lethargic and generally averse to change. In recent years, however, several cities, including Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, have established groundbreaking new offices, focused specifically on innovation and risk-taking, that are dispelling this long-held stereotype.

New SF effort will embed startup DNA into government


The trend towards injecting fresh perspectives into the business of government via innovation fellowships, civic startup incubators, and accelerators continues to grow with San Francisco’s recent announcement of a city entrepreneurship-in-residence program.

San Francisco launches Entrepreneur-in-Residence program to get startups to help solve city problems

The Next Web

San Francisco’s public sector is interested in becoming much more efficient, productive, and helpful to its constituents. City officials announced the creation of an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program to support those entrepreneurs and startups who feel their technology can actually do some good for the public and help the city overcome its bottleneck of inefficiency.