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Second CivStart Startup Cohort Ranges from Water to Housing

In its second year, the gov tech and civic tech accelerator has taken on 12 more companies looking to use modern and emerging technology to help public sector agencies solve a multitude of problems.

Erie, Pa. The inland city could get an economic boost as businesses flee coastal big cities. (Shutterstock)
CivStart, a relatively new startup accelerator that focuses on civic and gov tech, has announced its second cohort of companies.

After beginning with a 10-company cohort last year, CivStart’s 2020 class has 12. They work in a wide range of areas, including water utilities, civic engagement and human trafficking:

  • Acta Solutions: Natural language processing to provide nuanced analysis of constituent input and feedback.
  • Bloom Housing by Exygy: An extension of Exygy’s existing work helping San Francisco redesign its affordable housing application process, Bloom Housing is an open source project aiming to help governments digitize and streamline their systems while increasing transparency.
  • CitizenLab: A “community engagement toolbox” for collecting input, managing the conversation and generating insights from it.
  • ClearRoad: Offering a variety of transportation tools, including road use charging, next-generation tolling and dynamic mobility pricing.
  • Collective Liberty: Using data, collaboration and training to fight human trafficking.
  • Govlia: Software to help governments manage local preference and supplier diversity efforts.
  • Lex Loci Labs: Building technology to enable alternatives to imprisonment, such as pre-arrest diversion and drug treatment programs.
  • Near Space Labs: Selling access to frequently updated, self-gathered aerial imagery at a resolution of 30 centimeters per pixel, with a higher resolution in development.
  • Pigeonly: A mobile-based solution to help people locate and communicate with inmates at a cost the company says is lower than the average prison phone call.
  • Qwally: Tools to help vendors navigate local government purchasing, including certification management, outreach and directories.
  • Stae: A platform for linking legacy and modern data sources and hooking them up with business intelligence and data publishing tools.
  • Waterly: A mobile app to help water utility workers “replace those old clipboards” while gathering information and reporting it to the state.
CivStart offers startups a two-year program to help develop products and address business issues while helping founders navigate the world of government. It also seeks to remove the barriers public agencies sometimes find when trying to work with startups.

“Local governments have additional reasons to limit their exposure to what they might see as risky startups,” said CivStart CEO Anthony Jamison in a statement. “CivStart helps to lower the risk for governments in adopting these solutions, while providing our startups with comprehensive support in navigating the challenges of working with governments, because our local governments and the communities they serve deserve the best, most affordable, and most innovative solutions to meeting their needs.”

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.
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