Startups / Technology

This DC-based accelerator for civic tech startups launched its first cohort

These 10 startups have been selected to go through CivStart's 24-month program, where they will focus on product development with the help of mentors from the public and private sectors.

What do the locals do around here? (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

D.C.-based CivStart, an accelerator program for civic tech startups that officially launched last week, announced that it has selected its first cohort of companies.

The 10 early to late-stage companies will go through a 24-month training program, where they will focus on product development with the help of mentors from the public and private sectors.

Based in Chinatown, CivStart was cofounded by Anthony Jamison, Sarah Kerner and Nick Lyell to provide companies with state and local government leaders’ guidance in order to create tech to serve the needs of underserved communities. The accelerator will include in-person and virtual lessons. GovTech Biz reported that CivStart received 75 applications for its inaugural cohort from 11 states and four countries.

“CivStart aims to fill that gap, not only by connecting people, but by creating an intensive program for start ups at any stage to develop their products for maximum impact in the communities that state and local governments serve — with a particular focus on underserved and unconnected communities,” Jamison, CivStart’s CEO, said in a statement. “That is why the cohort is comprised of diverse founders, each contributing a unique perspective and expertise based on varying identities, backgrounds, and lived experiences.”

The 10 companies in CivStart’s first cohort include (with descriptions from CivStart):

  • Civis Analytics: Helps governments use their person-level data to make smarter, faster decisions that drive real results.
  • CityGrows: Is the only accessible workflow automation platform designed for local government. They’re transforming government permitting and licensing, one workflow at a time.
  • GovInvest: 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.
  • Kwema: Connecting women in physical danger with immediate help through the most discreet wearables in the market.
  • Orbital Insight: Geospatial Big Data company leveraging the rapidly growing availability of satellite, UAV, and mobile location data sources.
  • Circuit: Using fleets of all-electric cars to offer complimentary, on-demand rides around busy downtown areas.
  • Whyline: Software that solves queuing bottlenecks for businesses and governments.
  • ProcureNow: A modern procurement solution helping governments make better decisions, move faster, and simplify the procurement process.
  • Citibot: Tool for citizens and their governments to use for communication and civic change.
  • Gruntify: Robust data collection product that harnesses a unique blend of mobile, mapping, and cloud technologies.

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