April 6, 2021 • STIR

Exciting times in Long Beach: Help build this city of almost 500K into a smart city


The City of Long Beach (CA | Population = 466K), believes technology can improve the lives of its residents. We can drive real change if we work together to solve problems and test out solutions while prioritizing data privacy. To test out this theory, the city launched its Smart City Initiative in 2019. The Long Beach smart city team is focused on exploring solutions to the most pressing civic challenges by engaging with the Long Beach community and technology companies.

Part of the motivation here is the knowledge that civic tech companies looking to test and adopt new technologies face an uphill battle navigating the city’s complex procurement and contracting processes. That’s why Long Beach chose to participate in City Innovate’s Startup in Residence (STIR) program for the third year in a row.

If you work at a software company at any stage of development, this opportunity was made for you.

The 2021 Smart City Challenge was a great opportunity for civic-minded tech companies to work on pilot projects that address some of Long Beach’s key needs. Long Beach had 12 exciting challenges that tackle pressing issues like homelessness, mobility, and climate change. Long Beach has a track record of successfully working with vendors through the STIR program to scale 3-month pilot projects to full, Citywide contracts that bring value to its leadership and residents. Learn more about the Challenges which are now closed.


The City of Long Beach Provided the following FAQS:

Why should civic tech companies participate?

Over a period of four to six months, the participating companies will work closely with City staff to design, prototype, and deploy their products in Long Beach.


What is challenge based procurement? 

Challenge based procurement lets us as City staff articulate our challenge without prescribing how we want it to be solved. This is where you come in. We’re asking for your insights into how we might solve this challenge. If you think you can help, take 30 minutes and fill out our application.


What happens after the pilot period? 

City staff will work with you to carefully evaluate our pilot period and decide whether to enter into contract. Participating in this program does not always result in a City contract and there is no guarantee you may get one but we have had a lot success with past pilot projects.


Can I apply to more than one challenge? 

Absolutely! Just keep in mind that you may be selected for more than one. At this time, we are not accepting single applications that cover more than one challenge so please make sure you apply for each challenge.

Applications are now closed