The City of Kansas City, Mo. is again asking for entrepreneurs’ help.
Kansas City is now accepting applications for the 2016 Innovation Partnership Program, which provides an avenue for entrepreneurs to develop, test and demonstrate solutions to improve city operations.
The city will accept program applications for only 30 days — from July 13 to August 15.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James said that the mission of the program is to encourage efficiency within city operations.
“The Innovation Partnership Program is a unique way to explore technology that makes our processes and services better and more efficient,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said in a release. “Our reputation as an innovative city is growing, and this partnership between entrepreneurs and City Hall is another way to encourage that innovation.”
In its announcement, the city said that it’s looking for startups and other business partners to enhance its operations, spur job creation, attract and retain talent and improve social equity and environmental quality. Entrepreneurs are expected to provide their solution as part of a 12-week test period at no cost to the city. After testing is complete, the city may decide to purchase a company’s products or services if it is a good fit and achieves their efficiency goals.
Kansas City officials say the program helps lend credibility to entrepreneurs’ solutions and potentially attract new business.
The City of Fountains already has seen success with the program. In 2015, tech firm RFP365 landed the City of Kansas City as a client for its software that eases the request for proposal process. RFP365 was the first company to sign a contract with the city through the program.
RFP365 co-founder David Hulsen previously said the program offered the startup and city a beneficial opportunity.
“This is a city that was willing to take a chance on a homegrown solution,” Hulsen said. “The program helped us bypass the bureaucratic hoops, and get in front of the right people at the first meeting. They deserve a lot of credit.”
To apply for the program, companies must complete an online application form, from which point judges will select applicants for a 12-week test. For more information about the program, visit: www.ippkc.org.