Santa Cruz Tech Beat


County of Santa Cruz accepted into innovation program


October 3, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

The County of Santa Cruz is pleased to announce it has been accepted into the highly successful San Francisco-based Startup in Residence (STIR) program connecting government agencies with startups to co-create new technology solutions that address local challenges.

“Santa Cruz County has a reputation for the innovative delivery of government services, and we welcome the challenge of using technology to find ways to improve those services to benefit the lives of local residents,” CAO Carlos J. Palacios said.

STIR connects government agencies with startups to develop technology products that address civic challenges. Over 16 weeks, startups and government work together to co-develop a solution that creates real impact. The program began as a pilot in 2014 in San Francisco, and since has expanded to nearby Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento. Santa Cruz County will be joining as part of a national network of local governments working together to modernize government through STIR.

“The Startup in Residence program is a model for civic innovation and national collaboration,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said. “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.”

Pending Board of Supervisors’ approval of the acceptance, potential objectives will be identified and discussed with STIR program executives later this month. So far, 30 startups across North America have joined with local governments, sharing technology products that were co-developed to address civic challenges and improve the quality of life for Bay Area residents.

Projects included working on issues including streamlining the foster care application process, creating a mobile solution to support early education outreach and enrollment, and developing tools to assess the damage in the aftermath of an emergency like an earthquake.

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.

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