The program, conducted jointly with the National League of Cities, will involve the governments issuing challenges and pilot-testing potential solutions. Possible focus areas include public health and micromobility.
CivStart, a young gov tech-focused startup accelerator, has signed up seven local governments across the U.S. to participate in pilot programs with private companies.
The move is an extension of the National League of Cities’ existing City Innovation Ecosystems program, and is somewhat reminiscent of the Startup in Residence project that began in San Francisco in 2014. The participating governments will work with CivStart to develop challenges and then pilot-test potential solutions to those challenges.
A press release from the accelerator mentions public health, economic recovery and micromobility as areas of focus.
“Leveraging all resources to support the public good is more important than ever,” CivStart CEO Anthony Jamison said in the statement. “The COVID-19 crisis has added urgency to the need for cities to adapt to socially distant and online services. In addition, the cultures of municipal government and startups are dramatically different, and communication barriers can be a serious hurdle. CivStart’s team is in a unique position to help build this needed honest and inclusive ecosystem and we are pleased to start this important work with these seven cities.”
The participating governments are:
The startups CivStart is working with this year have developed technology for, among other things, affordable housing applications, road tolls, aerial imagery and communication with prison inmates.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which has previously participated in the CIE program, is involved in the CivStart effort as well.
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