city speed blur (jamesteohart/Shutterstock.com)

A tech accelerator for state and local government

The technology accelerator CivStart launched with a cohort of 10 startups poised to address challenges faced by state and local governments, with a particular focus on underserved and unconnected communities. It is the first accelerator to focus on that market.

The product development and mentoring program gives early, middle and late-stage startups a chance to work with public- and private-sector leaders. By receiving input and guidance from state and local officials from the beginning, CivStart will ensure that technology products serve the needs of the most vulnerable and underserved communities.

Participating companies include:  

  • Civis -- helps governments use their person-level data to make smarter, faster decisions.
  • CityGrows -- provides an accessible workflow-automation platform for local governments’ permitting and licensing activities.
  • GovInvest -- analyzes and visualizes individual agencies' retirement plans for instant calculations and comparisons.
  • Kwema -- connects women in physical danger with immediate help through the use of discreet wearable devices.
  • Orbital Insight -- leverages the rapidly growing availability of data from satellites, drones and mobile location sources.
  • Circuit -- uses fleets of all-electric cars to offer complimentary, on-demand rides around busy downtown areas.
  • Whyline -- solves queuing bottlenecks for businesses and governments.
  • ProcureNow -- helps governments simplify the procurement process and make better decisions faster.
  • Citibot -- offers a tool for citizens and governments to use for communication and civic change. 
  • Gruntify -- provides a data collection product that harnesses mobile, mapping and cloud technologies.

The startup program offers 24 months of customer development, product development, network building and expert guidance in preparation for securing state and local customers. CivStart will reach out to leaders in targeted governments and facilitate introductions and meetings for its startups and help them through their entire sales cycle.

Jonathan Reichental, a senior adviser at CivStart, said: “The state and local government market is incredibly difficult to navigate for young entrepreneurs hoping to make a difference in their communities. Helping to bring their ideas and solutions to market can have enormous value."

The accelerator will help communities "by facilitating meaningful connections, proving guidance and advice, and then, ultimately, helping to turn compelling solutions into viable, scalable solutions for state and local agencies," he added.

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