By Zack Quaintance
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A program that helps entrepreneurs work with government agencies is expanding. The program called “STiR” guides them through the complex government Request for Proposal (RFP) process with an application that doubles as an RFP.
Startup in Residence (STiR), a program created in San Francisco in 2014 to make it easier for tech entrepreneurs to work with government, is expanding to 12 jurisdictions across the country, the largest of which are Washington, D.C., and Houston.
This expansion will start with the program’s upcoming 2018 cohort, marking the first time STiR will take place in cities and counties beyond Northern California.
The full list of participants includes Boulder, Colo.; Houston; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Richmond, Va.; and Washington, D.C. It also includes six jurisdictions in California — San Francisco, Santa Cruz County, Santa Monica, Vallejo, Walnut Creek and West Sacramento — and one public agency, the San Francisco region’s Municipal Transportation Commission.
The next step will be finding startup companies to collaborate with these new participants. To this end, a list of 33 governmental challenges will go up on STiR’s website tomorrow at 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Applications will be open to startups for the next four weeks, with a two-week selection process to follow. Selected startups will then begin work with city governments in January.
In a call with reporters to announce the expansion, San Francisco CIO Jay Nath, who has helped guide STiR since it began, said the challenges will cover a wide range of public service concerns, including smart city tech, citizen engagement, and public safety. Examples include Houston looking for an SMS-based alert system for emergencies, and the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department wanting discrete, wearable electronic devices that its deputies can use in the field.