Startup Room


Vetted, Sustainable, Innovative Solutions

CivStart and our board of advisors choose our startups through a rigorous three-stage selection process involving input from our selection committee of experts and current and former public-sector officials.

Our startups offer a wide range of solutions to the challenges faced by local governments and the communities they serve. They participate in CivStart's two-year program and gain valuable product feedback and refinements, knowledge of how to navigate the complex local government market, and direct feedback and exposure to local leaders in innovation.

If you would like to learn more or get in touch with any of the startups listed below, please reach out.




helps local governments extract better insights from constituent input faster and at a lower cost

Acta Solutions automates feedback analysis for government, transforming open-ended public input into actionable insights. They turn feedback from a resource-draining problem to a decision-informing solution through our proprietary natural-language processing (NLP) platform. Their web-based platform takes in open-ended feedback in a variety of formats (Excel, CSV, etc), automatically analyzes it, and generates insights via an interactive dashboard. By using machine learning to comprehend textual data, their tool is able to quickly generate actionable reports detailing constituents’ key concerns and priorities. They increase constituent trust and satisfaction by showing how their input directly shapes programs and policies. Their solution allows local government professionals more time to focus on the conclusions of the data rather than process the data itself.


a modern system that helps people learn about, apply for, and gain access to affordable housing

Bloom Housing is a single entry point for affordable housing seekers; a list of every housing opportunity and a common digital application process across affordable housing properties. Bloom builds equity, trust, and transparency in the placement process and saves time and resources on processing paper applications.


the e-democracy platform for local governments.

CitizenLab helps local governments reach more citizens, manage their ideas efficiently, and make decisions based on real-time data. CitizenLab introduces an improved way of local democracy for the digital era. Their cloud-based SaaS platform facilitates a two-way communication between the city and its citizens by matching the right urban challenges with the right citizens based on their expertise and/or interests. Citizens post proposals, elaborate on them with others and set their priorities by e-voting. By automatically analyzing citizens’ feedback and opinions, the platform helps cities tap into the collective intelligence of citizens, whilst enabling them to reach out to more citizens and saving them resources.


leading-edge road pricing programs for congestion, road usage charging, freight management, and tolling

ClearRoad empowers governments with digital tools to better maintain, manage, and fund transportation and mobility through road usage pricing and lightweight technologies. The ClearRoad Road Pricing Platform enables the next generation of Congestion Pricing, Road Usage Charging, Tolling, and New Mobility Management while being flexible and responsive to cities' & governments' 21st Century needs.


eradicating human trafficking by collaborating across industries, agencies, and service providers

Collective Liberty has created the Forging Freedom portal to fill a huge gap in the anti-human trafficking field: lack of systematic, coordinated data and collaboration. As they identify policy trends in the field, actionable data from first responders, and needs expressed directly by survivors, they create and share ways the general population can take action through digital communities of practice. This allows activists and advocates alike to scale data-driven, local policy solutions at a coordinated national level by taking concrete, actionable steps.


the easiest and fastest way for governments to implement and manage local preference or supplier diversity programs

GovLia’s solution allows state and local government agencies to easily implement and manage local preference and supplier diversity programs, to ensure inclusive procurement and support economic development initiatives at state and local government levels. They eliminate time-consuming paper-based processes and the use of multiple solutions that do not communicate to increase small and diverse business participation in public procurement.


builds software that empowers criminal justice stakeholders to be more efficient, transparent, and just

Lex Loci Labs' online applications power treatment courts and pre-arrest diversion programs. District attorney offices, law enforcement and social service providers can collaboratively track participants from case referral through program completion. Clients can monitor recidivism, program performance, and more through in-depth analytics, and use Lex Loci’s intuitive online portal to make program management more efficient. The software can be customized to match the process in your jurisdiction and ensure a seamless transition for your program.  


high-resolution, high-frequency, zero-emissions imagery from the stratosphere at down-to-earth prices

Currently the cost for satellite imagery is astronomically high and data is infrequent, drone imagery has flight and product restrictions, and plane imagery is expensive and not sustainable. The high cost particularly prohibits local governments from accessing high aerial imagery. With Near Space Labs, the government will be able to solve for issues in infrastructure, real estate, road conditions, construction, utilities, vegetation overgrowth, and post-wildfire and post-disaster assessment, that require high altitude aerial imagery. The government will have easy access to our high frequency, high resolution imagery that is fiscally responsible and provided in real time.


a postal mail solution that allows correctional facilities to receive legal and non-legal postal mail without the risk of contraband

Pigeonly provides a simple, affordable way for loved ones to stay in touch with inmates from any phone, tablet, or computer. With the recent outbreak in the COVID-19 virus, protecting staff against harmful substances has become ever more important. County and State prison facilities have a very difficult time combating the inflow of opioids, K2, and other synthetic drugs that are almost impossible to difficult to detect through postal mail. Not only is this a problem for controlled and/or illegal drug substances, insecure inmate mail increases prison staff exposure to Covid-19 and other dangerous pathogens that can survive on postal mail surfaces for up to 9 days. This comes as a significant cost to taxpayers. The alternative of restricting postal mail negatively impacts reentry efforts, while also exposing the State to costly lawsuits for infringement of an inmates’ rights to receive postal mail.


a user-friendly web platform that helps cities provide effective, integrated, and scalable support to local small businesses

Small businesses use Qwally’s self-serve tools to easily navigate complex city processes such as licensing, registration, permitting, and certification. Community and Economic Development and Supplier Diversity departments use the platform to coordinate integrated support for individual businesses among city departments and entrepreneurial support organizations throughout the community. By making information and support more accessible, Qwally empowers cities to make their communities more inclusive and their economies more resilient.


expands access to data insights across local governments to drive better outcomes in housing, transportation, budgeting, and other verticals.

The Stae platform helps program managers at public agencies like cities and counties fully leverage existing data and tools to improve outcomes in verticals like affordable housing, sustainable mobility, and budget management. With the cloud-based Civic Intelligence Platform, Stae can standardize static legacy data, continuously ingest dynamic data from API sources like transit farecard transaction databases, create no-code quantitative and geospatial reports, and make insights exportable to common business intelligence tools like ArcGIS and Microsoft Power BI, published API endpoints, or open data portals. Stae unlocks new grant opportunities, streamlines agency operations, and supports proactive data-driven performance management and policy implementation with a lightweight, off-the-shelf digital approach.


solves the boots on the ground data collection issues facing local water operators while eliminating hundreds of hours of budget-sapping labor each year.

85%+ of US public water system data is still collected on pencil/paper and sometimes takes months (or years) before the public can view issues from a public water system.  Non-standardized spreadsheets pile up by the thousands on government servers across the US orphaning valuable water data and making long-term operational trends and non-revenue water information impractical to obtain.  With a growing water shortage crisis as well as increased pressure on utilities to manage non-revenue water amidst a tightening of available funds, Waterly solves today’s water data capture problems for operators and prepares for tomorrow’s water data management needs. It promotes the value of public water, transparency, and accountability while improving local government’s ability to be predictive with water production through one-click automated reporting.




a tool for citizens and their governments to use for communication and civic change

Local governments can leverage Citibot’s AI-powered chatbot(s) to scale customer service, build rich data for real-time decision making, increase workforce productivity and save money by automatically integrating into your existing workflow


transforming government permitting and licensing, one workflow at a time.

Governments use CityGrows to quickly and inexpensively bring any and all permits and licenses online. With CityGrows, permits go faster, businesses can grow more quickly, and residents access services efficiently


Uses fleets of all-electric cars to offer complimentary, on-demand rides around busy downtown areas.

Circuit offers turnkey First/Last-Mile Mobility that combines the needs of local governments with the benefits of a private operator. Circuit eliminates inefficiencies, aligns with user-behavior and complements existing infrastructure. Circuit focuses on short trips-reducing wait times, congestion and GHG emissions. Rides are free to your community, all drivers are hired from the community and are W2 employees.


helps governments use their person-level data to make smarter, faster decisions that drive real results

Civis Analytics pairs world-class data science and social science to inform and activate at the individual level. Civis offers a suite of tools and training that can help your organization leverage data engineering and data science to feed your open data program, develop interactive visualizations and maps for policymakers, and even get started using predictive analytics to optimize service delivery


Cloud-Based Software empowers stakeholders to run their own actuarial analysis to prepare for ever-changing employee and benefit costs.

GovInvest provides pension, OPEB and Union Contract software models, analyzes and visualizes your individual agency's retirement plans and MOU/MOAs for instant calculations and comparisons. Supporting Special Districts, Cities, Counties and States of all sizes across the nation. At the moment, GovInvest is offering free individual Pension, OPEB and Labor consultations to help public agencies model scenarios and communicate the impacts COVID-19 has on budgets and workforce.


Robust data collection product that harnesses a unique blend of mobile, mapping, and cloud technologies.

Gruntify powers your inspection, maintenance and workforce management needs with a single, easy to use forms & workflow app. Collect and manage data all on one platform. Say goodbye to paper-based forms and say hello to efficient data collection!


Connecting women in physical danger with immediate help through the most discreet wearables in the market

Kwema helps build a safer workplace for social workers and on the ground employees. They've created a safety device and service that can be added to a workplace’s current employee badges and tags. This device can activate a customized emergency protocol in this case it would notify the closest police office, shortening calls for help to 3 seconds. Employees already wear identification; so Kwema provides a seamless way to add a layer of safety for your employees.


Geospatial Big Data company leveraging the rapidly growing availability of satellite, UAV, and mobile location data sources

In order to meet their critical challenges and remain competitive with cities and counties, local governments are turning toward innovative new data sources that are able to economically, efficiently, and accurately meet their data needs—primarily satellite and location intelligence—and systematically monitor their real estate, infrastructure, and resources. Some ways state and local governments leverage Orbital Insight's data to further positive economic, environmental and social outcomes: Economic Development, Traffic Congestion and analysis, and Disaster Prepareness and Recovery. For example, you can use their foot traffic capabilities to look at the behavior of public places in relation to coronavirus. Some are using their data to understand baseline activity, and where we are seeing deviations (increases in traffic at pharmacies, way less people on the metro, etc.).


A modern procurement solution helping governments make better decisions, move faster, and simplify the procurement process

Full lifecycle procurement automation for government. Quick to implement, easy to use, high value solutions to government’s biggest challenges. ProcureNow starts with the intial request for an RFP or bid and takes you all the way through the award and contracting phases of sourcing and acquisition. ProcureNow is the only solution in the market that leverages intelligence and compliance to help you with every aspect of every phase of every project


Software that promotes social distancing and solves queuing bottlenecks for businesses and governments

Using WhyLine's software (which can be delivered fully white-labeled for your community), staff can tightly control the spread of foot traffic and congestion via their machine learning technology while having their constituents wait in safe places without congregating. It also allows patients/consumers to view the live wait times and enter the queue remotely from their homes (app, desktop or mobile web); and only show up when it's their turn to be seen. We've been doing the same for remote fixed-timed appointment scheduling, whereby the system can alert the user beforehand if they are running behind schedule.

Image by Christina @
government office


If you are an interested startup, applications typically open in early Spring.


If you are an interested local government, please reach out.