How 3 Councils Connected With Over 200 Quality Startups in Less Than 3 Months

The general public does not commonly view councils as being fast-moving or innovative. Given local government faces increasingly demanding and complex community expectations, it is more imperative now than ever for them to move faster. Over the last few years, councils in Australia have been investing heavily in building innovation culture and more recently the progressive councils have started to look “outside the building” for solutions that have the potential to address community challenges.

In 2019, three leading councils in Victoria (City of Ballarat, City of Casey, City of Whittlesea) partnered with Collective Campus to create opportunities for startups and scaleups to solve challenges within the community. The ‘Springboard’ program offered innovators and entrepreneurs from not only Australia but all over the world, the chance to share their innovative solutions to address high priority areas. Successful startups would be given the opportunity to share their ideas, develop proof-of-concepts and work directly with local government.

The program aimed to address the following three focus areas.

Focus Area #1: Transport

The councils were interested in solutions that could help them reduce traffic, improve transportation and better understand movement within their communities.

Focus Area #2: Waste

The councils were interested in solutions that could help their communities create more sustainable households and reduce the amount of waste that they produce.

Focus Area #3: Health and Wellbeing

The councils were interested in solutions that could help them create better opportunities for their residents to access healthy food options, including fresh fruit and vegetables, and be physically active within their communities.

The Outcome

The overall program took less than three months to complete — from focus area development all the way to the pitch event for the shortlisted startups. Out of the 11 startups that pitched:

  • Nine of them received interest from at least one of the councils to discuss engagement models.
  • Four of the startups received interest from all three councils.

The councils are now exploring different partnership models ranging from becoming a customer to trialling solutions with a small group in the community. Due to the overwhelming success of the program in 2019, we will be launching a new program in 2020. If your council is keen to get involved, please get in touch.

Customer Experience + Design Thinking + Innovation + Dad

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