STATE — The Wolf Administration announced that Pennsylvania is offering opportunities to tech entrepreneurs and startup companies to grow their business by connecting with government clients and developing solutions to make governmental processes more efficient.
“The Startup in Residence (STiR) program has a proven track record of successful collaborations between burgeoning tech companies and government agencies,” said Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich. “We hope to create similar opportunities for Pennsylvania businesses to expand and attract new customers.”
Selected companies will take part in a 16-week residency with the government agency to research, design, build and test a solution for an area of need identified by the agency. If successful, the company and government agency will embark on a contract to develop a final product that will enable the agency to better serve the public.
This year’s STiR challenge includes 80 projects offered by state and local governments across the country, including two from Pennsylvania. The first project, offered by the Milk Marketing Board, is to make the licensing process for the dairy industry easier through a web-based system and online payment.
The second project, offered by the Office of Administration, is to pilot virtual and augmented reality in mandatory online trainings for over 72,000 employees to improve engagement and knowledge retention.
“Successful tech companies are emerging all across the commonwealth, and especially near our university centers and in our urban corridors,” said Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin. “Through the Startup in Residence program, we want to help nurture our growing technology industry and bring innovative solutions to state government to improve our level of service to the public.”
The program is open to companies with under 50 employees and less than five years in business. The application period runs through November 14.
STiR was created by the City of San Francisco in 2014 to partner with technology startups to develop innovative solutions to civic challenges. Pennsylvania is one of two state governments that have joined the program this year.
The projects are available for bid on the commonwealth’s e-Marketplace site atwww.emarketplace.state.pa.us. The solicitation numbers are 6100046788 for the Milk Marketing Board project and 6100046789 for the Office of Administration project.