Entrepreneur or Start-up in Residence

Entrepreneur (or Start-Up) in Residence programs provide short term positions that benefit the entrepreneur and hosting program. Entrepreneurs bring fresh approaches to product and service development while hosts provide work experience and first hand look at processes.

Benefits & Problems Addressed

City governments, nonprofits and firms get entrepreneurial ideas: As governments warm to innovation, entrepreneurs provide affordable, implementation-oriented ideas for process, product and service changes. By hosting for an extended time period, the ideas are more likely to be adopted than a one-off management consulting exercise.

Entrepreneurs get a paycheck, experience and connections: Entrepreneurs get a first-hand look at an organization in their field of interest. They also experience constraints not apparent when working on the outside or in a tech incubator or accelerator.

Tips & Techniques

Getting started: Look into other programs around the world.  Determine the funding source(s) early on. Determine the Department in which the EiR will sit (since there are cost and space implications). Determine a work plan and products/impacts sought.

Choosing the startup or entrepreneur: EiRs can apply through a competitive process, or be chosen to match a particular problem. Also consider posting a list of specific problems to solve and select entrepreneurs best suited.

Funding: In addition to a municipal budget line item, consider funding from philanthropy, subject area companies, and tech-related businesses.

Types: Startups and Entrepreneurs can be placed in city offices, libraries and Economic Development agencies, as well as in University-base programs, accelerator/incubators and even large companies seeking innovation.

Hot Buttons: (1) reconciling existing work loads with an influx of new ideas, (2) who pays, (3) where the entrepreneur is hosted given cost and space requirements. 


Startup in Residence Program, San Francisco, CA US

Startup in Residence Programs: Amsterdam, the Hague, Denmark

Image: Startupstockphotos