Startup in Residence Initiative for the City of Toronto

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours

At the General Government and Licensing Committee meeting, on April 1, 2019, I will be requesting of my fellow committee members to consider the creation of a Startup in Residence (STIR) pilot project for the City of Toronto dealing with procurement and e-procurement.

Startup in Residence is a program that connects governments with startups to solve government-led civic challenges. The STIR program aims to bridge public-sector agencies directly with technology entrepreneurs to seed product development in the public sector.

The Startup in Residence pilot project hopes to serves the following purposes:

  • To act as a lead for procurement reform
  • To introduce City agencies, departments, commissions and boards to new innovation and technologies
  • To serve as an incubator to introduce the necessary procurement reforms needed to allow increased innovation to continue for the long term
  • To enhance government productivity, efficiencies, and help improve the resident experience with municipal government

The STIR program solicits proposals from startups for technology-based solutions to address procurement and e-procurement challenges facing City agencies, departments, commissions and boards.

The STIR program includes educational component during the residence period for the selected participants and corresponding City agencies consisting of in-person and web sessions with leaders in business, legal, finance, investment and consulting sectors as well as government executives, innovators, academics and researchers.

I am requesting the Deputy City Manager, Corporate Services, the Chief Information officer, and the Chief Purchasing Officer, in consultation with the Chief Transformation Officer, and the Director, Civic Innovation Office, to consider adopting a Startup in Residence (STIR) program, similar to those implemented by the City of Guelph and the Municipal Innovation Exchange, and whether the City of Toronto should:

  • Join an existing STIR network, such as the Municipal Innovation Exchange which was founded recently by Guelph, London, and Barrie;
  • Operate its own STIR program, as seen in some US cities; or
  • Operate its own STIR program, in alliance with other cities and/or government agencies in the Greater Toronto Area.

Stay tuned for the Monday’s, April 1, meeting of the General Government and Licensing Committee. The meeting can be watched live here.

All my best,


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