Kansas City’s Innovation Partnership Program – an initiative that turns city government into an early adopter of local startups’ products and services – is taking applications now through May 24.
This is the third year for the Innovation Partnership Program (IPP). It acts as a “front door” for local entrepreneurs who have technology that could make city departments more efficient and effective.
A good example is Redivus Health, one of last year’s IPP participants. Its mobile app allows doctors, nurses and first responders to coordinate their efforts. In one case, Redivus helped Kansas City, Missouri, firefighters save the life of a patient who went into cardiac arrest.
“This program has become a cornerstone of our city’s innovation,” said Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James. “We want to constantly improve our city services — and sometimes that means bringing an entrepreneur’s skill set to the table.
“At the same time, we want to be a city that fosters talent and bold ideas — so we’re willing to serve as an R&D partner with these innovators. There is so much we can gain from relationships like this, as a city and as a hub of innovation. I’m excited to see what this year brings.”
The city works with selected startups over the space of 12 weeks. Departments try out each young company’s products and services for free. In some cases, the city becomes a paying client after the trial period is up.
Startups benefit because they’re able to test their applications and platforms with a major user, which gives them invaluable data for refining and improving their products. It’s also something they can point to when they’re courting investors.
While efficiency is one goal, IPP also looks for startups that can boost the local economy, create jobs, attract top workers, protect the environment and improve social equality.
Interested in applying for the Innovation Partnership Program? Visit this website, and complete the online application.