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CivStart Announces Startup Challenge & Pitchfest in Collaboration with Five Participating Municipalities

Pitchfest to Take Place on April 30th, 2024, at the Kauffman Foundation Building in Kansas City, MO

WASHINGTON, DC – Jan 29, 2024 – CivStart, a leading organization in civic innovation and entrepreneurship, announced the launch of the 2024 Government Innovation Challenge and Pitchfest, an exciting initiative in collaboration with five participating municipalities: Miami-Dade County, Los Altos Hills CA, Richmond VA, Arlington VA, and Houston TX. The program is conducted as a part of the National League of Cities’ (NLC) City Inclusive Ecosystems Program, supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The Challenge, scheduled to culminate in a Pitchfest on April 30th, 2024, at the Kauffman Foundation Building in Kansas City, MO, aims to address critical issues faced by local entrepreneurs and residents. With a focus on supporting ecosystem-building, access to local government resources, workforce development, and data for decision-making, the Challenge is an integral part of CivStart's mission to foster innovation and collaboration within local communities.

“By engaging with this transformative event, we are dedicated to redefining the landscape of government support for entrepreneurs, demonstrating our commitment to innovation and collaboration,” said City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity Director, Marsha E. Murray in a statement. “Through the NLC Technology PitchFest, we are not only championing small businesses but also propelling local entrepreneurs toward a future of unprecedented success.”

“The City of Richmond Office of Minority Business Development is excited to work with the National League of Cities (NLC) on another significant technical assistance program to help minority businesses,” explained Pat Foster, Director of Minority Business Development for the City of Richmond, VA. “The Pitchfest gives business owners a national platform to introduce and/or expose their business while simultaneously assisting the city in addressing an issue that can be resolved through the unique technology designed by a minority startup. We look forward to the success that will be gained by the city and the business.”   

CivStart is currently accepting startup applications to be a part of the pitchfest at

For more information on the details of the program municipalities participate in as part of the 2024 Government Innovation Challenge and Pitchfest, visit

Municipal leaders participating in the program may be available for interview upon request. For more information, contact Nick Lyell at or (608) 234-2166.

Front page of Challenge flyer

Back page of Challenge flyer

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