Start-up partnerships and collaborations provide cities the ability to trial new services/products with young companies while giving entrepreneurs their first customers in a real world setting.
Benefits & Problems Addressed
Lower risk: Structured, short-term collaborations allows cities to test new technology and services with minimal investment
Tips & Techniques
Establishing an office: At a minimum, cities establish a point person who recruits and monitors the start-up's progress. At a larger scale, a city may want to establish a budget, work space and calendar. The sponsoring agency will also need to establish insurance requirements. Some cities host information nights to introduce the program and take questions from prospective startups.
Partners: The sponsoring agency should recruit local partners such as a University program and technology incubator or accelerator.
Solutions sought: The two main ways to launch a challenge are (1) open ended or (2) Problem statements.
Program Elements: Programs typically have the follow elements: (1) Program direction, priorities & structure, (2) Recruitment & selection, (3) Initiation and work plan development, (4) Monitoring, evaluation & iteration, (5) Advancement from demonstration to larger pilot or service. The locality should establish a pathway to procurement in advance. . A locality should also include workshops on business requirements such as permits, business licenses, tax schedules, and the
Selection Criteria: In choosing start-ups, a locality needs to set minimal selection criteria. Residency and having a legal structure (e.g. LLC) are typically threshold criteria. Common criteria include: (1) Strength of team and/or partnerships, (2) Understanding of problem and tasks, (3) Defined solution with work plan and metrics, (4) Financial viability, (5) Fit with existing plans and policies,
Hot Buttons: Many start-ups have little background in business and public policy. The public may be wary of experimental approaches and new technology.
Urban Innovation Kobe (Japan)
Innovate Durham (NC)