The City of Syracuse is participating in the Startup in Residence (STIR) program, designed to connect startup companies with government agencies to develop technology products that address civic challenges.
City officials posted five civic challenges that they plan to address through participation in the program and are inviting startup companies to apply to participate. The challenges include permit transparency, security deposit loans, trauma response, snow-covered sidewalks, and trash and debris data collection and optimization.
“We worked alongside our city departments to identify concerns and propose challenges that need innovative or unique solutions that startups are most equipped to develop,” says Adria Finch, director of the Office of Accountability, Performance, and Innovation. “These challenges also coincide with larger city initiatives, such as our team’s work on housing stability and the municipal sidewalk snow-clearing pilot.”
The 16-week program was originally developed in 2014 by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation; And, according to their website, the expedited solutions that were deployed as a result of the program propelled uptake in government participation.
The San Francisco office of City Innovate now runs the program, driving its expansion across North America to include over 30 government partners, including cities, counties, states, metro transit authorities, and regional planning authorities.
Since 2014, nearly 50 startups from around the world have provided technology solutions to cities including San Francisco, Miami, and Houston.
Finch says the program also complements the City of Syracuse’s strategic planning process that began earlier this year, when the mayor and department heads developed a mission statement aiming to position the city as a model of innovation, deliver high quality customer experiences, and provide proactive and efficient service.
“Through the program’s collaborative framework and streamlined procurement process, startups have the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the challenges identified and to close a contract with a government agency,” she said.
Startups can apply online at StartupinResidence.org to address one of the challenges posted by the City of Syracuse or another partner in the network.