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Civic challenge for start-ups-in-residence

City Innovate and Cubic Transportation Systems have announced 80 civic challenges for the programme

The programme will help start-ups understand the government perspective
The programme will help start-ups understand the government perspective

Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) is partnering with City Innovate to introduce a programme aimed at start-ups seeking to improve cities through government contract opportunities.


The start-up in residence (Stir) programme details more than 80 civic challenges across areas such as data analytics, mobility, process improvement and resiliency.


Working with government


The 28 government partners participating in Stir will start accepting applications from start-ups to address public sector challenges. Over the course of this 16-week programme, selected start-ups will work with governments to co-develop and test solutions, with the goal of securing a contract at the end of the period.


“Cubic is pleased to support City Innovate and the Stir programme as one of the ways we can support cities in exploring how new technologies can be applied to improve how people move and cities operate,” said Boris Karsch, vice president, strategy for CTS.


Karsch represents CTS on City Innovate’s technical advisory board which is comprised of global technology organisations providing technical advice and guidance to start-ups. Other board members include Microsoft, Visa, Oracle, Google Cloud for Start-ups, Mexichem, Forgerock and Panasonic.


According to the partners, for start-ups working in the urban innovation space, it is a great opportunity to understand the unique perspective of government leaders and a way to overcome hurdles in the procurement process.


For international start-ups, the programme provides an entry-point into the US market by collaborating with large potential customers. The programme can be done remotely and does not have to be full time, allowing flexibility for participation.

It is a great opportunity to understand the unique perspective of government leaders and a way to overcome hurdles in the procurement process

“Our partnership with Stir represents our commitment to our customers to help them extend the benefits of the smart mobility solutions we provide through the energy and innovation brought by America’s start-up community to solve today’s civic challenges in new and innovative ways,” added Karsch.


Some of the emerging themes identified by local governments center around data analytics services, crowdsourcing platforms and urban planning tools, among other topics. Notable challenges include:

  • IoT sensor platform for reducing traffic congestion and improving safety
  • Automated HOV lane enforcement
  • Disaster management and communication platform for residents and officials
  • Crowdsourcing platform to connect low-income renters and people willing to provide 21-day loan for security deposits
  • Smart assistant integration to enable residents to have a voice interface to city services
  • Planning tool to predict traffic impact of new real-estate development
  • Reduce congestion from construction using data and sensors.

The programme launched in San Francisco in 2014 and is now in 28 cities, counties, regional governments and states across North America, including Miami-Dade, Memphis, San Jose, Long Beach, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Boulder and Mobile.


Each government partner has leadership buy-in, a dedicated project manager and budget committed to each of the challenges.


City Innovate is a non-profit that is dedicated to helping governments address their challenges through emerging technologies. Through start-up in residence, it aims to bridge the gap between the private and public sector.


The programme facilitates start-up and government teams to co-create technology solutions for government-defined challenges.


The call for start-up applications will be open through to 7 November 2018 Click here to apply.


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