October 16, 2019

City Innovate announces 50 startup-friendly government contract opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to help improve cities

City Innovate is welcoming startups and small businesses to apply for contract opportunities with governments across the country. Governments are seeking assistance with data, information technology, predictive analytics, SaaS, process improvement, efficiency, communication, and more.

San Francisco, CA — Today, City Innovate announced over 50 civic challenges for the next round of Startup In Residence (STIR) projects. The 20 government partners participating in STIR this year will begin accepting applications to address public-sector challenges on October 16th.

Over the course of a 16-week demonstration period, selected businesses will work with governments to co-develop and test solutions, with the goal of securing a contract with their government partner at the end of the process. 

For small yet mighty companies who are using technology to improve the way people work, play and live, this is a great opportunity to gain insight into working with governments, get a foot in the door with a new government type or region, and put your technology to work for the public good.

For startups based outside of the U.S., STIR provides an entry-point into the national market by introducing potential large customers and contract opportunities. Participation can be carried out remotely and does not have to be full-time, allowing flexibility of where and when you work

STIR was founded in the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation in 2014 and is now administered by City Innovate. STIR has since grown to include cities, counties, regional governments and states across North America, including the Cities of Carlsbad, CA, Chula Vista CA, Fremont CA, Long Beach CA, San Diego CA, San Jose CA, Walnut Creek CA, West Sacramento CA, Kansas City MO, Mobile AL, Miami FL, Norfolk VA, Phoenix AZ, Takoma Park MD; Cuyahoga County OH, Miami-Dade County FL; Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC;  the State of Arizona, and State of Vermont

Some of the emerging themes from the projects this year include housing, transportation and mobility, climate change, and government efficiency. Notable projects include: 

  • Assessment of fair housing
  • Real-time bed availability
  • Digital platform for bringing transit ridership data together
  • Real-time curb management
  • Assessment of tree conditions and health
  • Flood and climate risk adaptation
  • Electronic review and routing of city council items
  • Digital knowledge portal to memorialize actions and decisions of experienced staff
  • State business portal


Startups who have participated in STIR have praised it as a bridge between two communities that rarely interact. “As a small startup, it would be hard to gain a city’s interest, let alone have them interview us,” said Piyush Hari, CEO and Founder of the startup Dilli Labs. “Through STIR, we got a chance to apply to and be interviewed and eventually selected by a city. Everything was well organized from the application phase to interview phase to announcing the final selections. The assistance rendered during and post residency by STIR was also helpful.”

County and city governments have also expressed excitement about the opportunity to solicit RFPs from a more diverse group of partners. Jessica Cole, Head of Innovation and Economic Development for the City of Walnut Creek, said, “STIR was a huge force multiplier for us! As a small city, we would not have had the capacity to run this on our own. Several areas of the city that don’t regularly get a chance to collaborate, have started to work together. Multiple people have said they are looking forward to participation this year.”

Since the launch of STIR, participants have created a number of civic solutions, including Binti, a software application that streamlines the process for becoming a foster parent. Binti’s software allows for foster care agencies to track applications from the opening phone call to the adoption with ease. STIR matched Binti with the San Francisco Human Services Agency, allowing the team to shadow service workers to build a foster care application that streamlines the process of adoption, saving staff social workers 20 to 40 percent of their time and increasing the capacity of the foster system by 300%.


The call for startup applications will be open through November 20th. Click here to apply. 


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Additional quotes and interview opportunities available upon request.


About City Innovate

City Innovate is a public-benefit corporation located in San Francisco CA. We believe that the most innovative technology doesn’t have to be out of reach for government. We work to achieve our mission through STIR, our cohort-based digital platform which matches the best and brightest startups with governments primed for innovation.