Last month, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced an entrepreneurship-in-residence program for startups solving public sector problems. Now there’s an actual application deadline and that deadline (this Sunday, October 6) is coming up.
In some ways, the program’s head, Rahul Mewawalla (he’s on the right of the photo with Lee and Lee’s chief innovation officer Jay Nath), embodies the idea of building a bridge between government and the tech world — his résumé includes positions at Nokia, NBC Universal, GE, and Yahoo.
Mewawalla acknowledged that EIR programs aren’t new (definitely not new at VC firms, and not entirely new on the government side either), but he said San Francisco’s is the first to have a strong “product focus.”
“We want people who have already built a product that can serve public needs and drive real, tangible benefits,” he said.
He declined to say how many applications the program has received thus far. He did say applications have covered areas like open data, health care, recruiting, and transit. He also pointed to tweets suggesting that other cities should emulate the San Francisco model — which is something he’s hoping for.
The 12-week EIR program is supposed to provide access to government officials, access to private sectors leaders, workshops and training, access to coworking space, and more. You can apply here.