National ‘Startup in Residence’ program expands to Norfolk

Mayor Kenny Alexander announced the City of Norfolk will participate in Startup in Residence, a program that connects government agencies with startups to co-create new technology solutions that address Norfolk’s civic challenges.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the city to partner with entrepreneurs to help improve services to residents through technology,” said Alexander. “Startup in Residence is another tool to help strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and develop creative solutions to our challenges in Norfolk.”

Startup in Residence is a 16-week program that connects startups and government to co-develop a solution that creates real and sustainable impact. The program began as a pilot in 2014 in San Francisco, and has since expanded across North America to cities, counties, states and regional transit authorities.  Norfolk will be joining as part of a national network of government partners working together to modernize government through Startup in Residence.

“The Startup in Residence program is a model for civic innovation and national collaboration,” said Jay Nath, former Chief Innovation Officer for San Francisco and Executive Director for City Innovate. “This program is a unique opportunity for government agencies and startups to think creatively about how we can all work together to modernize government to benefit residents.”

Since 2014, 44 startups from around the world have joined government departments in cities including San Francisco, Oakland, Washington D.C. and Houston. The startups shared technological solutions that were developed to address civic challenges and improve the quality of life for their residents.

Projects have included working on issues such as streamlining the foster care application process, smart sensors on trash cans, homeless health services, volunteer engagement tools and developing tools to assess the damage in the aftermath of an emergency like an earthquake or flooding.  Local startups can register on StartupinResidence.org to be notified of the estimated 60 to 80 challenges that will be posted September 25.

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.