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Celebrating Five Years of Government Innovation

Letter from the Founders

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CivStart is how we putlocal governmentleaders in chargeof charting thecourse of innovation

We are doubling downon our commitment toimpact over the nextfive years by expandingour efforts on all fronts

In 2018, a few governments were successfully implementing new technologies supported by forward thinking leaders, well-resourced IT departments, industry partnerships, and more than a few local volunteer civic hackers. At the same time, far more local governments were experiencing technology stagnation, hampered by lack of access to appropriately scaled and priced technology, a dearth of vendors for local-scale digital transformation, cybersecurity, the internet of things, and other citizen centric innovation. These divergent realities inspired us to join together as co-founders for CivStart, bridging the gap between these two experiences. CivStart was born and our first program launched in 2019.


We saw that leaders across the govtech ecosystem wanted to share and support these innovations. We expanded our value proposition to provide a forum for leaders to share their work while supporting the growth of civic-minded entrepreneurs into the technology partners local governments needed. CivStart is how we put local government leaders in charge of charting the course of innovation: through selecting the startups that participate in the CivStart Accelerator program, mentoring entrepreneurs, and serving on our Task Force for Inclusive Innovation. As CivStart's community matured, we saw a need for more direct support for public sector leaders and launched a nine-month long Government Innovation Program, began hosting best-practice webinars, and launched our premiere annual event, The State of GovTech.


Today, CivStart is the premiere hub for govtech innovation made up of incredible, forward-thinking, civic-minded leaders from across the whole ecosystem. The entrepreneur in our Accelerator, the City Manager seeking advice on new technology, the CIO joining one of our Innovation Programs, the nonprofit expert sharing their knowledge on a webinar, or the industry leader mentoring our entrepreneurs — all of these partners come together and find a home as part of CivStart's Innovation Hub. 


The work we are able to do is the product of the expertise and generosity of hundreds of people. Here we are, five years from when we began. Thank you to everyone who keeps CivStart going, relevant, and growing.


We are doubling down on our commitment to impact over the next five years by expanding our efforts on all fronts: rolling out new programs, hosting more inspiring events and webinars than ever before, growing the next generation of public sector technology, and helping local government leaders go from idea to on-the-ground implementation with the support they need along the way. We are thrilled and honored to continue creating the future of CivStart.

Sarah, Nick, and Anthony


Hours Government Leaders Invested in CivStart Innovation Training


Tech for Gov Newsletter Subscribers


of CivStart Startups have BIPOC & Women Founders


Startups Growing into the Public Sector with CivStart Support


Years of Government Innovation Programs


Unpaid Media Mentions


Mentor Network Participants


Attendees at CivStart Events


Venture Capital Raised for Startups in our Accelerator

Our Impact


To achieve our mission and realize our vision, CivStart provides local government leaders with deep-issue and technical industry knowledge, peer connections, and pilot program implementation to deliver practical results. At the same time, CivStart is growing a robust ecosystem of civic-minded entrepreneurs who are successfully navigating the pathway through the rewarding but challenging government market and bringing their innovative and affordable solutions to communities across the country. Across the ecosystem, we are creating a collaborative environment where innovative and affordable startup solutions intersect with government tech experts and public sector leaders. Through CivStart, local governments achieve positive change by leveraging innovation, embracing vendor diversity, and efficiently sourcing startups in the govtech marketplace.

Five Years of Sparking Innovation

2019 / CivStart is Founded

CivStart launches our Govtech Accelerator with our first cohort of civic-minded entrepreneurs.

2020 / CivStart-NLC Innovation Program

CivStart launches our first Government Innovation Program with the National League of Cities (NLC).

2021 / Accelerator Platform 1.0

CivStart builds out a comprehensive platform for serving our startups and our expansive Mentor Network.

2022 / State of GovTech Summit

After a year of online-only participation, CivStart transitions our Demo Day & Innovation Summit into the State of GovTech in partnership with e.Republic.

2023 / CivStart Innovation Hub Beta

CivStart rolls out our Hot Topic Webinar Series, GovTalks, and more through the beta of our online ecosystem platform.

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Growing Govtech Startups

Selected by government leaders and powered by the CivStart Accelerator, the next generation of technologies and entrepreneurs is gaining the skills, resources, and networks to bring their solutions to scale across the country.

Five of CivStart's startups have been featured in the 2024 GovTech 100: Citibot, Konveio, Polimorphic, ThirdLine, and Waterly.

From the 2023
Accelerator Cohort

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Aneshai, Go See the City

I'm truly excited to join CivStart's Accelerator Program. This partnership is a significant step forward in our mission to combat food waste and address food insecurity in communities. Together with CivStart, we're committed to leveraging technology to make a meaningful impact worldwide.

Guiding the Future of Govtech

Stories of CivStart's impact working with the startups selected for our Accelerator Program

We nurture early-stage startups and provide mentorship (see Partners below), resources, and networking benefits to their founders so they can generate impact for local governments and the communities they serve.

Each year, CivStart supports 10 or more new startup entrepreneurs to bring their solutions to scale over a unique, govtech-focused 24-month program. The CivStart ecosystem and curriculum is designed to help cohort members position themselves as more than just government vendors, but as true partners in sustainable and inclusive change. Learn more about CivStart's Accelerator Program here.

Creating Connections

A key benefit of the CivStart Accelerator is our GovTalk Series, a monthly webinar series in which we spotlight an innovative government for an hour-long discussion with members of our cohort.


In 2023, we had the privilege of hosting seven GovTalks. We spotlighted state and local agencies including the State of Texas’ Procurement Office; State of Wisconsin’s Division of Technology Services; Tarrant County, TX; Kansas City, MO; and the City of Alexandria, VA.

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In 2023, CivStart launched a beta of the new CivStart Bootcamp that provides the expertise and resources of CivStart to idea-stage founders.


CivStart Accelerator

The startups we have been proud to scale.