San Francisco, CA – The City and County of San Francisco Office of Civic Innovation hosted its Startup in Residence (STIR) Local Demo Day on August 22nd, highlighting the importance of civic innovation and leveraging technology to improve government services.
At the event, startups and City teams presented solutions from the 2018 STIR cohort that solve challenges related to property development, supporting vulnerable populations, and city cleanliness. The 16-week program connects government agencies and startup companies to co-create technology solutions for use by local governments.
“San Francisco is at the forefront of applying technology to solve critical community needs,” said City Administrator Naomi M. Kelly. “In the capital of innovation, we are fortunate that startups work hand-in-hand with government to improve systems and outcomes in areas such as street cleaning, small business development and social services.”
“The STIR startups show how we can leverage a new wave of civic entrepreneurs to improve government services,” said Linda Gerull, San Francisco’s Chief Information Officer. “The Startup in Residence program brings together technology and government to help accelerate solutions to some of government’s toughest problems and issues.” Sponsored by the City’s Office of Civic Innovation, the STIR Demo Day began as a pilot in 2014. This year, startups and City department teams presented projects including digital mapping and navigation system for street sweeping teams to manage route paths, a tool to help prevent overflowing trash cans, and an application to get real-time client updates when in the field. The six that presented at Demo Day are:
- Conversation.One & San Francisco International Airport - Conversation.one is helping San Francisco International Airport (SFO) create a natural language interface to help SFO customers get safe, consistent, and accessible information.
- Nordsense & Public Works - Nordsense is helping San Francisco Public Works prevent the overflowing of public trash cans by installing trash can sensors and an analytics system to manage the cans.
- ms.GIS & Public Works - ms.GIS is helping San Francisco Public Works digitize the navigation of street sweeping routes to improve safety for street sweepers and streamline the route management and updating process.
- RideAlong & Department of Public Health - The Department of Public Health along with Whole Person Care partners worked with RideAlong to develop a prototype tool that could support street-based caregivers in ways our current electronic health records cannot. The "StreetCare App" will enable our teams to get real-time client updates as they do outreach, quickly log their encounters, and accurately capture work done.
- Symbium & Planning - Symbium is helping the San Francisco Planning Department create a user-friendly solution for the SF Planning Code so that planners and businesses can more easily identify where a specific business type could be located and can better understand how the code applies to properties.
- ZenCity & 311 – ZenCity is using machine learning to help San Francisco’s 311 improve the routing process for 311 service requests to get the requests to the right departments more quickly and improve agency’s response time.
“STIR has enabled us to work alongside the San Francisco Planning Department to remove an obstacle that small business owners face when opening a business,” said Leila Banijamali, CEO of Symbium. “Our solution has been in development at Stanford for years, and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity that STIR afforded us to apply it to a pressing challenge in our Bay Area community. The program allowed us to better understand how we can continue to improve interactions between governments and their communities.”
Since the Startup in Residence program launched, over 46 Startups have participated in the building of innovative civic solutions with cities, including Binti, a software application that streamlines the process for becoming a foster parent. Binti’s software allows for foster care agencies to track applications from the opening phone call to the adoption with ease. STIR matched Binti with the San Francisco Human Services Agency, allowing the team to shadow service workers to build a foster care application that streamlines the process of adoption, saving staff social workers 20 to 40 percent of their time.
Startups interested in learning more about the projects that will be part of San Francisco’s 2019 STIR cohort, which will being in January 2019, may find more information and apply at the following link: https://startupinresidence.org/stir/join/stir-for-startups/