Washington, D.C., will lead the East Coast expansion of the Startup in Residence (STiR) program, which facilitates partnerships between government agencies and startups to develop tech-based solutions to challenges facing cities.
STiR, a 16-week program that began as a pilot in San Francisco in 2014 before expanding throughout Northern California, has to date paired 30 startups with government agencies in San Francisco as well as Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento, Calif. Earlier this year, organizers announced that the program would be expanding nationwide, and now Washington, D.C., marks its arrival on eastern seaboard.
“The Startup in Residence program is a model for civic innovation and regional collaboration,” San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee said in a press release. “We have seen the program flourish in the Bay Area and we know that we can replicate that success across the nation. We are excited to give entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C., and other cities on the East Coast more opportunities to partner with local governments. Together, we will find unique new solutions to help our residents.”
Washington, D.C., will start recruiting participating agencies and startups in the next few months. It will be run in that city by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer in coordination with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity, Department of Small and Local Business Development, and the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer.
West Coast projects have run the gamut in terms of improvements they’ve made to public agencies. Some of the more notable applications include streamlining the foster-care application process, creating a mobile solution to support early education outreach and enrollment and developing tools to assess damage after an earthquake.
Access and close collaboration with government is one of the main benefits the program provides for startups, as well as an educational component that includes learning about often cloudy processes such as procurement.