Startup in Residence Program


Update @ April 26: The Calls for Proposals are now closed. Please refer to the descriptions, timelines and links for more information.


Partnerships for a 21st Century Government

The BC Startup in Residence (STIR) pilot is an experiment to bring the ideas and expertise of, startup tech companies together with government business areas to rapidly solve public sector challenges.

Government and participating companies will learn from each other as they sprint through a 16 week summer residency, working side-by side to develop and launch their solution in the fall.

British Columbia is a part of a growing global network of local and provincial governments looking to find ways to build partnerships with technology companies based on their skills and ideas, not their size or past experience selling to government.  Since the STIR model was launched by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation in 2014, the City has become an important customer for tech companies and continues to demonstrate the power of innovative procurement.  We can do the same in British Columbia. 


Benefits of Participation

With BC’s STIR, we want the best and the brightest to propose their innovative solutions and join us in residence this summer to work on one of ten challenge areas put forward by participating ministries. 

During the Victoria-based pro-bono residency, government and tech company teams will collaborate in government team space, and online to iteratively make their vision a reality. Teams across the STIR pilot will also come together as a cohort for workshops, guest speakers and mentor sessions, and mixers to make the most of one another’s experiences. 

At the end of the residency and a free-trial period, companies will have:

  • the full rights to commercialize the solution and sell into the growing gov-tech market;
  • the potential for customer validation and the ability to reference the BC Government as a customer;
  • the opportunity to contract with the Province to continue to support, licence, or maintain the solution they created;
  • a greater understanding of working with and selling to government entities; and
  • access to a network of alumni.


Challenge Statements

The STIR pilot is built on the premise that the best place to start is with a defined challenge versus a set of detailed requirements and that the best solutions come from open innovation.

Business areas across the BC public service identified the following 10 challenge areas and are willing to dedicate the time and energy to create a solution. The individual Calls for Proposal, are open until April 26, are posted on BC Bid in accordance with the Province’s procurement policies.

Click the links below for individual Calls for Proposals and see BC Bid to complete mandatory registration. To search for all STIR CFPs, Browse Opportunities by Organization and select  “Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training”.

CFP #: STIR-17-001
Program Name: Public Service Agency (PSA)
Problem Summary: The B.C. Public Service Agency (PSA) is looking to create a consistent, positive and engaging experience for people newly hired to the B.C. Public Service. The Public Service Agency wants to create a dedicated digital service that helps equip new employees with the tools they need, provides orientation information and introduces them to the culture of the B.C. public service.

CFP #: STIR-17-002
Program Name: Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources (GEOBC)
Problem Summary: GeoBC is looking for a way to automate the Quality Control of large volumes of LIDAR-based geospatial data that helps government establish baselines for resource and ecosystem management, develop  models for evidence-based management and more.   Ensuring the quality of the data delivered by vendors is currently a manual and time consuming process.

CFP #: STIR-17-003
Program Name: Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources (FLNRO)
Problem Summary: The Natural Resource Sector ministries are seeking a creative solution to help establish a common understanding of ‘Digital Literacy’ to ensure we engage all employees to maximise the opportunities presented by technology and innovation,. The new solution would deliver a multi-media platform to create an interactive end-user experience, enabling users to self-select their curriculum and track learning outcomes on a variety of topics such as Agile and UCX.

CFP #: STIR-17-004
Program Name: Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training - Centre for Data Innovation (CDI)
Problem Summary: The Centre for Data-Driven Innovation (CDDI) is looking for a cost-effective means to make commercial data visualization and analytics software available for use by the data scientists and analysts that are authorized to access data in the CDDI’s secure environment.

CFP #: STIR-17-005
Program Name: Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources (NRTS)
Problem Summary: The Natural Resource Transformation Secretariat (NRTS) is looking for a way to allow spatial datasets containing detailed resource management information to be geographically viewed, queried and reported.

CFP #: STIR-17-006
Program Name: Ministry of Children and Family Developmment
Problem Summary: The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is looking for a way to provide Resource Workers with real-time availability of contracted residential resources, such as beds and associated services, to ensure that when children and youth need to be in the care of the ministry they are matched quickly and efficiently with the most appropriate resource available to meet their needs. 

The solution should allow contracted resources to update and enter the availability of their bed/ service information directly allowing Resource workers to access the information through the app in real time, replacing the current manual tracking

CFP #: STIR-17-007
Program Name: Ministry of Education (EDUC)
Problem Summary: The Ministry of Education (EDUC)  is looking for a way to provide data securely to school districts across BC as a report or raw data extract, with capacity to both extract and undertake analysis within the tool.  Currently EDUC shares a series of PDFs to a limited number of users with varying data proficiency on Sharepoint, which does not provide all users with a platform to interactively work with data. 

CFP #: STIR-17-008
Program Name: Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training - DataBC
Problem Summary: DataBC often receives inquiries from data custodians on the use of their datasets in the BC Data Catalogue, the single data asset catalogue for government.  To fulfill this need, we would like to display catalogue record visits and number of downloads prominently on the catalogue records, and provide a link to a more in-depth site usage where users and data custodians can view and download this information at the ministry or branch level.

CFP #: STIR-17-009
Program Name: Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training - DataBC
Problem Summary: DataBC seeks to develop an open source notification service to allow clients to sign up for email alerts via a self-serve tool. This web based tool will allow clients to subscribe to service channels of interest, and receive information related to scheduled changes, status and technical issues.

CFP #: STIR-17-010
Program Name: Government Communications and Public Engagement (GCPE-GDX)
Problem Summary: Help the BC government develop the business intelligence it needs to support an exciting new personalized digital services strategy. Working with the Government Digital Experience Division, you will help create a tool to inventory government services, and support senior management in setting priorities that modernize the service experience for British Columbians. 


What are the key dates for STIR 2017?

  • March 14: Calls for Proposal are released on BC Bid
  • April 26: Calls for Proposal conclude
  • April to May: Evaluation
  • May to June: Selection of winning proposals, agreement on statement of work and contract signature for Phase 1 (residency and free trial period)
  • June to October: 16 week pro-bono residency
  • November: Demonstration day celebration
  • November to March: Free trial period and potential negotiation for a Phase 2 agreement