Mayor Sly James on Tuesday announced seven partners for the 2016 Innovation Partnership Program and the program’s new accelerator-like approach.
Now in its second year, the IPP provides select startups with city data and infrastructure at no cost and the opportunity to develop, test and demonstrate innovative solutions for the city. For the first time, the program will have a structured schedule and run for 12 weeks, culminating in a demo day on Dec. 13. As part of the program, startups will work closely with the Office of Innovation and will receive part-time office space at city hall.
With this new approach, Mayor James said he hopes that the program will provide a new way to improve city services and encourage forward-thinking.
“I am a big fan of technology and using it to make our lives better,” Mayor James said in a press release. “I look forward to learning more about the innovative solutions these participants will test with City Hall to help us serve Kansas Citians more efficiently and effectively.”
James said that the partnership’s model allows for companies to identify challenges and solutions in tandem with City Hall.
Here are the partners:
- Big Bang – a platform for developing real-time Internet of Things, mobile or desktop applications
- Integrated Roadways – smart pavement with embedded IoT technology that creates longer-lasting roads and reduces roadway expenses
- Pomerol Partners – provides strategic business intelligence solutions to corporations
- Reality Technology – a cloud-based compliance management solutions enterprise
- SORA – easy-to-use mobile apps that aim to reduce medical error
- SpiderOak – online privacy and secure collaboration
- Stratex Planning – business solutionists focused on driving sales for small businesses
The selection committee — which consisted of members from the offices of innovation, performance management, procurement, city manager and the mayor — was drawn to firms that were creating new markets, attracting talent and improving the efficiency of city services.
Kate Garman, KCMO Innovation Analyst, said that she was impressed with the applicants this round.
“All of the solutions are forward thinking, and will really be a learning experience for all parties,” Garman said. “We selected the partners after a serious discussion on how we can help the partners progress with their business/solution, city resources we could pair to that partner, and particularly what issues the partner may help solve within City Hall.”
Garman said she is most excited for the IPP’s debut demo day. In true accelerator fashion, startups will have five minutes to pitch their pilot programs to the mayor, city manager and department directors.
“I continue to read about the different ways in which entrepreneurs define success and failure, and how government views success and failure,” Garman said. “This will be an opportunity for these groups to come together, discuss it and learn from one another.”