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2024 Gov Innovation Challenge & Pitchfest

Use technology to improve the way governments support local entrepreneurs & residents

Goals & Objectives


This is a joint challenge of Richmond, VA; Los Altos Hills, CA; Miami Dade County, FL; Arlington County, VA; Houston, TX.

Successful solutions will address one or more of the following aspects of the challenge:

  1. Ecosystem Building - There are many local entities and resources that benefit business owners in our local communities. We are looking for solutions that can help government leaders map the local ecosystem of support, thoughtfully connect entrepreneurs, and track interactions. These solutions might make it easy for entrepreneurs to access the local ecosystem of support; foster collaboration between entrepreneurs; help governments collaborate regionally around shared resources and opportunities; and ensure language is not a barrier to navigating these resources.

  2. Access to Government Resources for Entrepreneurs & Residents - Creating a single front door for entrepreneurs and stakeholders to access all the relevant government information and resources, while streamlining the process for the government to respond to local business and stakeholder requests and needs. These solutions might include Public Records Requests, Permits, Service Requests, as well as access to funds and financing resources and better leverage existing government staff capacity.

  3. Workforce Development - Help local governments connect their workforce with the skills they need, the skilled workers with the jobs they need, and the businesses with the skilled employees they need. These solutions might include ways to help businesses matchmake with hard to find skills; support retaining employees; provide new entrepreneurs with business development skills; or support key business skills like office administration.

  4. Data for Impact & Decision-making - Economic development leaders in government need access to better data in order to understand their local entrepreneurs and track activity & impact across the ecosystem. These solutions might surface key data on economic development in the local region; help evaluate local government impacts on the overall local economy; provide regular feedback to decision-makers to help guide adjustments; and integrate with existing data systems.

Release of Challenge: Jan 25

Responses Due: Feb 29  Extended to  Mar 5

Finalists Notified: Mar 15

Pitchfest in Kansas City, MO: Apr 30

Winners Selected for Pilot: May

2024 Challenge & Pitchfest

This is a joint challenge of:

  • Richmond, VA

  • Los Altos Hills, CA

  • Miami Dade County, FL

  • Arlington County, VA

  • Houston, TX. 

Up to ten finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their solution before all of these governments and may win a proof of concept opportunity with one or more of them.

Challenge Background

Local businesses across the country need support and local government is often where they turn. This Pitchfest is designed to attract innovative startup solutions to share their ideas, meet key local government leaders, and compete to win a pilot opportunity with one or more of the five participating municipalities.


Proposers who have questions should send these to All responses to questions will be posted on this Challenge page. If it becomes necessary to revise any part of the Challenge, an addendum to the Challenge will be provided to all known prospective Startup Applicants via email and the CivStart website.

What do I get if I win?

All participants selected to join the Pitchfest will be honored as “finalists”, get to present their solutions in front of leaders representing five municipalities, network with local government attendees and other startups. “Winners” of the Pitchfest will be those startups selected to participate in a proof of concept (PoC) with a participating municipality. A pilot or PoC is not guaranteed for any participants.

How many finalists will be selected to present at the pitchfest on April 30?

Up to ten finalists will be selected.

Will the pilot/proof of concept be paid?

We encourage participating startups to identify ways they can offer a free or low-cost 15-30 day PoC for the local government. Under certain circumstances, the government leader may elect to enter into a full contract right away or after a successful PoC.

Can I pitch virtually?

You or another representative of your company must attend the April 30 Pitchfest in Kansas City, MO in person in order to participate.

What type of budgets do the participating governments have for the low-to-free pitch as well as for a possible contract after the pilot?

The participating governments may opt for follow up meetings to discuss a potential pilot opportunity. Every government budget at process is different, so no further details on opportunities following the Pitchfest can be provided at this time.


Those wishing to submit a solution to the challenge, should fill out the Challenge-Response form.

Submitted proposals will be reviewed as they were sent by the relevant points of contact for the local government(s). Up to ten finalists will be notified by Mar 15. All finalists will get to participate in the pitchfest.

The Pitchfest is in-person and will be held on April 30 in Kansas City, MO.

Challenge ID:


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