Startup in Residence Program
The BC Startup in Residence (STIR) program brings the ideas and expertise of startup tech companies together with government business areas to co-develop technology solutions, improving services delivered to British Columbians.
Partnerships for a 21st Century Government
Modeled after San Francisco’s successful Startup in Residence program, the B.C. Startup in Residence (STIR) program connects B.C. tech startups with provincial government business areas to collaboratively and iteratively develop technology-based solutions for public-sector challenges within a 16-week timeframe.
The selected startups participate in the development phase and product trial period pro bono, at which point each government business area has the option to enter into an ongoing contract for access to and/or maintenance on the tech-based solution.
Developed by the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology, the B.C. Startup in Residence pilot was the first of its kind in Canada. During the 16-week volunteer residency in the summer and fall of 2017, five sets of government and tech startup teams, including:
The teams developed solutions together to make their visions a reality, finally presenting their projects on Demo Day on November 24, 2017 in Vancouver, B.C. Their presentations, in which they discuss their challenges, solutions, and lessons learned, are available below.
Project Overview: Making it easier for citizens, academics, and BC companies to support complex resource management decisions with detailed geospatial data.
Founder/CEO: Vincent Lam
Number of employees: 7
About: Established in 2011, Arkit is a Vancouver-based software provider that is on a mission to change how people work, communicate and share using maps.
For many companies, managing field projects with information scattered across spreadsheets and complex systems is a challenge. The process of accessing data requires too many steps and involves too many people, making it frustrating, slow and costly.
Arkit solves this by combining field project management and collaboration into an intuitive, map-based software that everyone can access, contribute to, and share. Arkit’s key features include interactive project and site maps, visual filtering and search, budgeting, cost reporting, task tracking, information dashboards, and collaboration and sharing tools.
Arkit powers more informed decision-making, reduces project risk and makes every day more productive and successful.
Challenge statement: The Natural Resource Transformation Secretariat is looking for a way to allow spatial datasets containing detailed resource management information to be geographically viewed, queried and reported.
Product vision statement: For stewardship staff and the public who need to quickly and efficiently understand land use objectives for a defined geographic area, the B.C. Arkit product is a land management tool for locating, viewing and editing land use objectives relative to a geospatial map; unlike existing solutions such as PDFs, iMap and other popular GIS tools, our product will support intuitive exploration of tabular and geospatial data in one split panel view.
Project Overview: Helping school districts access and analyze information more easily.
Company: Big Bang Analytics Inc.
Co-Founders: Katie McGoff, Paul Herron and Robyn Quinn
Number of employees: 4
About: BBA was launched in Victoria, BC in January 2017 with a single goal: help owners of big data not only access their data but help them use it to make better informed business decisions. All three principals look forward to growing their business based on the STIR project and offering solutions across multiple markets based on business intelligence needs.
Challenge statement: The Ministry of Education is looking for a way to provide data securely to school districts across B.C. as a report or raw data extract, with capacity to both extract and undertake analysis within the tool.
Product vision statement: For school district administrators who need to understand trends and patterns that impact educational outcomes, the Big Bang Analytics team is a data analytics tool to provide insight to a broad and diverse user base; unlike static reports delivered through SharePoint, our product is dynamic, engaging and draws users in to leverage our wealth of educational data like never before.
Project Overview: Teaming up to deliver digital literacy training to public servants in an interactive and memorable way.
Company: Design + Environment and AppScoop
Partners: David Nicholas Oswald, Pulkit Sahni and Peter Bajwa
Number of employees: 15/ 10
About: The BC STIR Digital Literacy Platform is a collaborative partnership for DE and App-Scoop. DE is the project and design lead and App-Scoop is the development lead.
DE is a design and environmental consultancy and technology company on a mission to: ‘solve problems using design and environmental science’ on projects ranging from environmental analysis for climate change adaptation through to integrated cross media design for a science centre. DE has its HQ in Vancouver, BC and has offices in Montreal and Vienna.
App-Scoop is a Vancouver-based development and consulting firm hyper focused on delivering polished Mobile and Web Solutions. The team includes highly experienced and specialized software developers who have successfully delivered complex projects ranging from startup ideas to enterprise software.
Challenge statement: Natural resource sector ministries are seeking a creative solution to help establish a common understanding of ‘digital literacy.’ 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.
Product vision statement: For B.C. public servants who are curious about innovation and want to understand how to apply emerging digital concepts to improve services for citizens, the Digital Literacy tool is an interactive learning application that allows users of all knowledge levels to engage with a variety of topics; unlike competitive products such as Moodle, Blackboard and D2L Brightspace, our product offers an interactive, compelling and memorable storytelling journey that allows users to explore topics in a whole new way.
Project Overview: Creating a tool to help social workers match children in care with the best available housing options in real time.
Company: Latero Labs Inc.
Partners/CEO: Derek Yau/ Sunny To
Number of employees: 5
About: Latero Labs is an app / web development firm focused on creating robust technology platforms. We provide technical strategy and implementation for complex business problems. Our focus is on building software based on principles of user-centered design, high adaptability, and easy maintenance.
Challenge statement: The Ministry of Children and Family Development 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.
Product vision statement: The Placement Mapper is for social workers and service providers, who need to find a safe contracted residential home for children in care. The ‘placement mapper’ is a bed inventory tool that provides information on critical attributes for all available contracted residential housing options in real time. Unlike existing manual processes and disparate data sources, our Placement Mapper strives to offer a single source of web-based information and an intuitive interface for users throughout the social sector to interact with the data in real-time.
Project Overview: Creating a tool to support data-driven intelligence about government’s program and service information that will inform the Province’s approach to delivering personalized digital services.
Company: Purpose Five
Founder/CEO: Erin Athene
Number of employees: 9
About: Purpose Five is a technology start-up committed to gender balance and promoting women to lead roles on our executive and technical teams. Based in Victoria, BC, we build innovative software, superior websites, and rock solid digital marketing strategy that accelerate online revenue growth. We are passionate about building technology that communicates to our diverse world using our expertise in accessibility and inclusive design.
Challenge statement: As a part of the work to develop a personalized digital service strategy, the Government Digital Experience Division is looking for a technology solution to provide reliable data on what services exist, how they are accessed, how they interrelate, who runs them, who they are for, and how much they are used.
Product vision statement: For service providers and program owners who need to better understand the services we own in order to improve service outcomes for citizens, the service inventory is a master data management tool that creates and sustains a comprehensive list of services enabling better service findability and personalization opportunities; unlike existing siloed repositories and excel spreadsheets, our product is compelling to use and provides previously hidden insight.