2017 Top 25
City and County of San Francisco, CA
January 1, 2017

Startup in Residence (STIR) connects the public sector directly to innovative technology entrepreneurs to help solve challenges faced by City government, and make government more accountable, efficient and responsive. For 16 weeks, startups help departments unpack issues with data analysis and prototype solutions refined through user testing. Startups gain insight into civic needs to develop products that support critical community services. Announced in 2014, San Francisco, the first cohort had nearly 200 startups from 25 cities and countries apply to the program, from which the 6 most promising startups were selected to collaborate with government agencies across 16 weeks to build new products and services. All 6 of these collaborations resulted in innovative products for government. One of the most exciting outcomes from these collaborations was a solution to guide blind and visually impaired airport customers to their gate and other services. The application was built by a company from Vienna called indoo.rs in collaboration with our airport and in consultation with Lighthouse for the Blind, a SF-based non-profit that advocates for the blind and visually-impaired. The San Francisco International Airport installed nearly 500 ibeacons in Terminal 2 and shared detailed maps and resources down to the location of power outlets, and is planning to scale the technology and adapt the software into multiple languages. With the lessons learned from the initial cohort and a three year grant from the US Commerce Department, STIR was formally announced and expanded in January 2016 regionally with Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento. This multi-city collaborative has shared nearly 27 challenges for technologists and entrepreneurs to tackle. After the 16-week program, the government agencies and startups have the potential to enter into a commercial arrangement through the usual competitive process which means an RFP, and has been streamlined in San Francisco based upon our experience from 2014, reduced from months or years to weeks by having the call for startups be an RFP itself.