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CivicMakers Community

Cities and Startups Building Solutions and Community, Together

Last Thursday’s Civic Mixer at The Hall in San Francisco.

Last Thursday was spectacular. To say that CivicMakers facilitated a training and hosted a happy hour is missing the point. Last Thursday, real change was in the air.

Since April, we’ve been hard at work with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation (SFMOCI) planning the 2016 Startup in Residence Program. STIR, as we affectionately call it, is a 16-week program that connects government agencies with innovative startups to develop technology products that address civic challenges. That means 15 companies embedded with 14 city departments in San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento.

I think of Startup in Residence as a central part of the next iteration of a long line of efforts to stimulate government innovation ecosystems. Moving beyond hackathons, app challenges and fellowship programs, STIR aims to deliver real solutions to government challenges developed in direct partnership with the community, while supporting sustainable government technology business models. A key component of STIR is an educational and training curriculum featuring thought leaders in the government technology space, including policymakers, entrepreneurs, executive directors, investors, etc.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Last Thursday was a whirlwind in three parts…


An all-star #govtech panel (L-R): Judi Brown (CivicMakers), Tom Yoritaka (Cisco EIR), Stony Baptiste (, Lane Becker (18F), Max Schnoedl (Accela), Stacy Donohue (Omidyar Network)

Thursday’s training presented an overview of civic and government technology trends for both startups and city staff. It was a packed house at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center with an insightful and at times uproarious panel moderated by Tom Yoritaka, who runs the Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence program. The thought leader bench was deep, including:

Stonly Baptiste — Co-Founder and Partner at Urban.Us
Stacy Donohue — Investment Partner at Omidyar Network
Lane Becker — Strategist, 18F
Max Schnoedl — Chief Financial Officer, Accela


Joe Morrison (e.Republic Labs) shares market insights about the government technology sector.

After a short break for startups to mingle with panelists, we got back to business with a presentation by Joe Morris, Director of Market Intelligence at e.Republic Labs. Speaking from 10 years analyzing industry trends, Joe provided a masterful overview of the civic and government technology landscape. Startups and city staff picked Joe’s brain and left with a clearer path towards effective, sustainable solutions.

That brought the day’s training to a close, but the community kept on well into the night with a…


There’s nothing better for community building than some old-fashioned open networking. We’ve hosted dozens of meetups for civic and government innovators, but it was a special honor to gather the likes of SFMOCI and participants in the 2016 Startup in Residence program, along with folks from Code for America, The Department of Better Technology, 18F and more.

San Francisco Chief Information Officer Miguel Gamiño kicks off the STiR Civic Mixer with his perspective as both public servant and entrepreneur.

San Francisco Chief Information Officer Miguel Gamiño kicks off the STiR Civic Mixer with his perspective as both public servant and entrepreneur.

We love bringing entrepreneurs, governments and residents together to create community, share, and be inspired to do the good work of solving pressing public problems. STiR is a perfect example of what’s possible when the interests and values of multiple partners and stakeholders align. There’s much more to come, so stay tuned for updates on what we’re learning and what we’re building, together.

STiR Program Manager Rayna Gordon-Hellman with Community Logiq team (L-R) Herman Chandi, Arun Dawit and Arvinder Singh Kang