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Mayor Bowser, SF Mayor Ed Lee Announce Expansion of Successful ‘Startup in Residence’ Program to DC

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
STIR Program Pairs Government Agencies, Start-Ups to Solve City Challenges

Media Contact: Michael Rupert — (202) 657-3831, [email protected]

Washington, DC – Mayor Muriel Bowser and San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the District of Columbia will lead the East Coast expansion of the highly successful Startup in Residence (STIR) program, which connects government agencies with startups to develop technology products that address city challenges.

“As we continue to make Washington, D.C. the capital of inclusive innovation, we are thrilled to bring this innovative effort to DC and lead efforts on the East Coast,” Bowser said. “This initiative supports my Administration’s vision to find innovative ways to improve services and tackle our biggest challenges through technology.”

STIR is a 16-week program that pairs startups and government agencies in order to work together to co-develop solutions that create real impact on the lives of residents. The program began as a pilot in 2014 in San Francisco and has since expanded to nearby Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento. DC will kick-off the recruitment of agencies and startups in the next few months.

“The Startup in Residence program is a model for civic innovation and regional collaboration,” said Mayor Lee. “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.”

The program will be managed by the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer in coordination with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity (DMGEO), Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) and the Office of Contracting and Procurement

“The District has a vibrant, nationally recognized start-up community that is civic minded and passionate about our city,” Deputy Mayor Kenner said. “We look forward to having them as partners is solving some of our major challenges while helping them grow and learn how to work for and with government.

So far, 30 startups across North America have joined government departments in San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento. The startups shared technology products that were co-developed to address civic challenges and improve the quality of life for Bay Area residents.

Projects included working on issues including streamlining the foster care application process, creating a mobile solution to support early education outreach and enrollment, and developing tools to assess the damage in the aftermath of an emergency like an earthquake.

The program offers education for government and startup staff in areas including partnership, procurement, open data, civic technology trends, the technology marketplace, and new methods of product development and procurement. STIR addresses a goal of DC's Economic Strategy, to diversify the city's economic base by  growing "smart cities and civic solutions" economic activities. In addition, STIR is a novel approach to challenge-based procurement, one of the 43 priority initiatives identified in DC’s Economic Strategy.