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Cities practice innovation, prepare to pilot cutting-edge technology as part of innovation program

Six cities announced innovation challenges in March as part of CivStart and the National League of Cities program

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 7, 2022) - As a part of a program run by CivStart in conjunction with the National League of Cities (NLC), six US cities have identified key innovation challenges and are preparing to pilot cutting-edge solutions. The City Inclusive Ecosystems (CIE) program helps cities adopt policies, programs and practices to give underrepresented entrepreneurs more opportunities for economic advancement.

The cities of Pearland, TX, Philadelphia, PA, Hillside, IL, New York, NY, Green Bay, WI, and Kansas City, MO are each focusing on distinct technology challenges faced by their communities. City challenges include permitting and workflow upgrades, GIS technology, community engagement technology, and support for local businesses. Through the program, CivStart provides support and resources to allow cities to practice a more inclusive procurement methodology, investigate their challenges in depth, and pilot a solution to their challenge with a startup company.

Mark Wheeler, Chief Information Officer at the City of Philadelphia, issued the following statement ahead of the announcement:

“Since the City of Philadelphia launched SmartCityPHL, it has incorporated challenge-based procurement into its work. Partnering with the nonprofit CivStart is a great opportunity to grow the network of entrepreneurs and innovators engaged with Philadelphia’s smart city work. The City is dedicated to creating a diverse environment for innovation to grow—a collaboration with CivStart will help make the process of delivering value to city departments and citizens through SmartCityPHL projects even faster.”

Dan McGhinnis, Chief Information Officer for Pearland, TX announced:

“Going through a program like this will allow us to communicate the different goals we have for our community and provide potential software solutions on how to achieve those goals. We are hoping for solutions that will increase transparency and simplicity of the development process, support our local business community, allow for our community to easily communicate with us about their experiences working with different groups within the city, and provide efficiency for customers and staff.”

For more information on the City Inclusive Ecosystems program, CivStart, or any of the challenges participating cities are tackling with affordable and innovative solutions, please reach out to Nick Lyell at or (608) 234.2166.

About CivStart

CivStart is the only accelerator that focuses on the state and local government market.

We have built an ecosystem of innovative and affordable startup solutions, govtech experts, and public sector leaders focused on how the latest technologies can meet the needs of their communities. Our mission is to build an honest and inclusive ecosystem of solutions that serve local governments and their communities. We do this in three broad ways: The CivStart Accelerator; Government Innovation Programs, and Thought Leadership. Learn more about each of these at

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