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City Joins International Network of Problem Solvers



The City of Carlsbad has been selected to join the 2019 Startup in Residence (STIR) program to partner with startups and small businesses for their creative solutions to various challenges the city is facing.


The STIR program is led by City Innovate, a non-profit focused on bridging the gap between government and business.


Under the coordination of Chief Innovation Officer David Graham, the entire city was tapped to provide ideas on challenges the city is facing. About 80 ideas were evaluated and refined into nine challenges, all of which have been accepted into the STIR program, more than any other participating city. These nine challenges, ranging from how to replace paper routing for city council agenda items to how to improve mobility and behavior change, are now open until Nov. 20 for startups and small businesses to submit their creative solutions.


This approach is called challenge-based procurement, a type of request for proposal that does not specify all the details of a product or service as in a traditional RFP. Instead it describes the desired outcome for the solicitation. This approach unlocks creativity to problem solving and attracts different solutions from different types of companies, instead of the same solutions from the same companies.


Carlsbad’s innovative approach led to Information Technology Director Maria Callander being asked to speak at the City Innovate Summit in October. She shared how Carlsbad wants to create partnerships between government and emerging technology companies. She explained how attracting new innovative partners who are willing to explore new ways of doing business can lead to more collaborative problem solving, which ultimately leads to solutions to help our employees and residents.


Kudos to city staff for working on new ways of problem solving to benefit the community of Carlsbad!

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