- The Startup in Residence (STIR) program has expanded to 31 governments or agencies for the 2019 cohort, according to StateScoop and others. The program pairs global startup companies with local governments in North America to use technology to solve some of the problems that cities face.
- For the first time a state, Pennsylvania, is included among the participants. The cities participating are: San Francisco; Boulder, CO; Las Vegas; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles; Memphis, TN; Mobile, AL; Montreal; Portland, OR; San Jose, CA; Fremont, CA; Norfolk, VA; Napa, CA; and Edmonton, Alberta.
- STIR announced earlier this year that it intends to expand to 100 participants, which it anticipates will happen within five years.
STIR began in 2014 as a local pilot program in the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Innovation and gradually expanded regionally. The first national cohort launched this year, and in this new cohort, cities must first identify specific challenges they are facing and ways to deal with them, and how they could use private-sector expertise to do so. This appears to be part of a broader trend where cities are encouraged to partner more with startups and work more closely despite previous mistrust between the two sectors.
STIR facilitates a 16-week program in which the startups collaborate with government employees to devise solutions, as opposed to the government remaining hands-off and simply purchasing third-party technology services through a consultant. After completing the program, some of the startups are awarded government contracts, although it is not guaranteed.
Some of the projects completed through STIR in the past include trash cans outfitted with sensors, digitized street sweeping routes and a crowd-sourcing app for infrastructure inventory and reporting. In a similar vein is URBAN-X, a Brooklyn, NY-based startup accelerator that provides early-stage companies with 20 weeks of development, helps them network and then give them guidance on raising capital. Those companies can help cities solve their problems, and such collaboration is needed across sectors as urban issues arise and need solutions.