8 Ideas to Help Cities Finance Innovation

Source: City MartSascha Haselmayer on October 4, 2017

We asked city officials to give us their best ideas for how to finance innovation in government, and they came up with a solid list of actionable concepts. Here are the top 8:

  1. Open challenges: soliciting new ideas with an opportunity for the challenge winner to pilot their solution.
  2. Venture funds: enabling venture capitalists to invest in city service delivery.
  3. Open problems & data: unveiling problems and assets in a user-friendly manner to encourage ideation.
  4. Pay for Success models: contracts that are paid for by outcomes, usually through forms of commissioning and contracting like social impact bonds.
  5. Refinancing: refinancing existing city service contracts to free up funds that can be invested in city services.
  6. Long-term private investment: sponsors and angel investors who seek long-term return could support innovation.
  7. Crowdfunding: existing crowdfunding platforms like ioby can help cities raise money for innovative projects.
  8. Foundation grants: utilizing foundation funding to fund risky bits of innovation with transformative potential.

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