We’ve got to have the brightest minds to help solve our biggest challenges.President Barack Obama
We need the top entrepreneurs to work with us on opportunities that are actual pain points and needs of government. San Francisco’s EIR program advances our role and vision as the Innovation Capital of the World. Mayor Ed Lee
San Francisco’s EIR program, offered by the Mayor's Office, will select talented entrepreneurial teams and help them develop technology-enabled products and services that can capitalize on the $140+ billion (See Federal IT Spending and State & Local IT Spending) public sector market by providing them with direct and ongoing access to government needs and opportunities, staff, their expertise and their pain points. The entrepreneurial products or services should drive significant impact such as increased revenue, enhanced productivity or meaningful cost savings.
Entrepreneurs will get to work side-by-side senior government officials to work on opportunities that are actual pain points and needs of the government. In addition, products and services that successfully solve issues faced by San Francisco can easily expand to addressing similar needs of other cities and states across the nation in addition to the private sector.
San Francisco’s EIR program will offer each selected team mentorship from senior public leaders across the Mayor’s office and San Francisco departments and from entrepreneurial and private sector leaders in addition to product development and ramp up support, and access to a gold-mine of government problems and insights through the City and County of San Francisco.
The program will bring together meaningful opportunities and talented entrepreneurs to drive innovative solutions in key areas such as data, mobile and cloud services, healthcare, education, transportation, energy and infrastructure. The program expects to select 3 to 5 teams. The program will last 16 weeks from November, 2013 through March, 2014.
SF EIR is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop products and services for government, the largest consumer of products and services in the nation. We offer each accepted team senior public sector and private sector mentors for four months, and most importantly, access to a gold-mine of government problems and insights through the City and County of San Francisco.
Direct access to and assistance from the customer—government in search of solutions to its challenges
Workshops and trainings on important topics related to working with government like open data standards, procurement, and security
Mentorship from senior public sector leaders across the Bay Area and private sector leaders working in a diversity of industries
Access to coworking and collaboration space
A high profile stage from which to offer your product to other local government customers
A commitment to your success
The following are just examples of problems facing government. Applicants do not have to solve these particular problems. It is most important to clearly demonstrate how your product could benefit from this program and that it can solve a real challenge.
The selection process will be through an open and competitive application process. Applications will be used to assess the qualifications, fit and likelihood of success of the applicants.
Selection will be made by SF EIR selection group composed of public and private sector leaders with innovation, Fortune 500, startup and venture capital experience.
We will announce selected teams in November, with the program beginning in early February and wrapping up in early June.
Applications for 2013-2014 are closed, but you can sign up to
Entrepreneurs can expect to have access to a range of experts and advisors in the private and public sectors. These industry and government leaders will help your team define and achieve success in the civic innovation space with San Francisco agencies and departments as your key focus group and customers over the four month program.
Entrepreneurs get to work directly with the City and County of San Francisco to develop solutions for pain points and needs of the government, the largest consumer of products and services in the nation. In addition, products and services that successfully solve issues faced by San Francisco can easily expand to addressing similar needs of other cities and states across the nation in addition to the private sector. This is one of the first programs of its kind run by the City itself. This program is not meant to be a traditional accelerator or incubator, but to help formalize the process for smaller businesses and entrepreneurs to navigate the complexity of the public sector.
We are looking particularly for entrepreneurial teams who recognize that challenge and opportunity go hand-in-hand. It is also critical that the EIRs think about solving problems at a large scale. Pain points and issues faced by government need technology enabled products and services that can scale well and can function across multiple environments and across different types of users. And we want EIRs who think big! As an analogy, we’re looking for teams who instead of building an app that tells you when the train is delayed, build a product that helps the trains run on time.
The City and County of San Francisco has an annual budget over $8 billion. It has more than 28,000 employees across more than 50 departments and agencies. As the innovation capital of the world, we offer a well-recognized platform to expand to other public sector buyers across the nation. For an interactive view of the city budget and related revenues and expenditures, visit SFOpenBook.
While you do not have to be physically in City offices every day, we need companies and teams that are in the Bay Area or are willing to have at least some of the team here over the course of 16 weeks. The program is set up to provide a four month runway for you to work with government on developing a product or service that meets the needs of a department or agency and can be applied more broadly. To that end, we work with you to establish a reasonable roadmap over that timeframe. This will vary by team. The best use of that time depends on your team's stage and needs. We want you to be successful and understand that if you're building a business, you'll have to be doing other things as well.
You have to be a full-time entrepreneur. However, your time commitment to the program is flexible depending on your needs and stage. We recognize that building a business requires having many demands on your time and we appreciate that. We will offer you a variety of resources and insights and it is up to you how much you’d like to benefit from them.
We want you to develop a successful product or service that is valuable to government here in San Francisco and across other cities, states and at the federal level. We expect you to ramp up your business through competitive and compelling offerings that governments consider purchasing because it has a measurable impact such as increased revenue, lower costs or enhanced productivity.
The SF EIR program is part of a growing ecosystem of civic innovation. Inspired by Code for America’s Civic Accelerator, and joined by Points of Light and Tumml among others, the EIR program seeks to offer another pathway to addressing civic challenges. This is not an accelerator or incubator program, but rather a method for the City and County of San Francisco to formally match entrepreneurs working on products that serve or could serve government to various city agencies and departments. It is our belief that creating a formal pathway can help these entrepreneurs more easily navigate the complexity of working in the public sector and bring better fit solutions to the challenges of government. We applaud CfA's pioneering work in this space and hope our program spurs more entrepreneurs to work on civic problems.