San Francisco to Entrepreneurs: Solve Our City's Problems
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and the White House launched a new initiative Friday aimed at getting entrepreneurs to create tech-based solutions for some of the city's gnarliest problems.
The program is a start-up accelerator, of sorts: the 16-week workshop--called Entrepreneur-in-Residence San Francisco--will select three to five teams of entrepreneurs and provide them with mentorship from private sector corporations, including McKinsey and GE. Their goal: solve a public sector problem.
“Rather than someone building an app that tells you how late the buses are running, it’s a bit like an app that tells you how the entire Muni system is running,” a mayor’s office spokesperson told VentureBeat.
The $142 billion public sector is, according to the announcement, a widely-underserved market when it comes to technology--ironic considering the Bay Area houses some of the world's most innovative tech companies.
Entrepreneurs or teams are asked to apply online and reveal, among other practical details, their most successful innovations to date and how to best improve a public sector problem.
“San Francisco’s program is one of the first EIR programs within government, who is by far, the largest customer of products and services in the nation. The entrepreneurial products and services developed through San Francisco’s EIR program should drive significant impact such as increased revenue, enhanced productivity or meaningful cost savings," Jay Nath, San Francisco’s Chief Innovation Officer, said to the press.
The winning teams will be announced in early October.