Successful applicants will be chosen from among startups, entrepreneurs, student teams and companies that apply to the Accelerator program. The application and selection process will be governed by the City’s procurement guidelines and the Solution Partners will be selected based on ability to solve the challenge being described as well as the capacity to create a commercial enterprise that will offer the solution on the civic tech market.

Applicants who do not meet this criteria will be encouraged to participate in generally available business mentoring and incubation programs, such as those from Innovation Guelph, the University of Guelph and the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs to improve their potential for success as applicants in future challenges or to develop their business idea into a commercially viable enterprise.

Successful applicants embed within City departments

Selected Solution Partners will embed within City departments to develop solutions to the three challenges along-side City employees. This open collaboration with City operations will result in accelerated solution development and deep understanding of the operations, civic priorities and governing policies of a mid-sized municipal government in Ontario.

Solution Partners will further benefit from mentorship, training, services and supports made available through Innovation Guelph, The Canadian Open Data Exchange and the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. These services and supports will help accelerate the development of their ideas into commercially viable and ultimately successful businesses.

How are successful applicants (solution partners) accepted into the Accelerator?

As a RFP is the vehicle through which applicants are selected (to enable the department to make a purchase in the event a solution progresses to that stage), applicants will be ranked according to pre-set criteria. Those will focus on two primary questions:

  1. How well does the proposed solution address the problem our department outlined?
  2. Does the applicant have the business acumen to develop and implement this solution?

How all parties benefit

City departments will benefit by gaining a better understanding of long-standing and complex issues. The collaborative contributions between City staff and selected participants will bring the City closer to new kinds of innovative solutions to challenges that divert time, money and effort, and may potentially affect citizen confidence in City services.

Guelph citizens and businesses will directly benefit from any solutions created. By making civic procurement more accessible to innovators, citizens will enjoy more efficient and modernized services.

Businesses will benefit from civic purchasing power being applied to give companies competitive advantage in North America’s $6B civic tech market.

The successful applicants will benefit from participating in a program that accelerates the development of commercially ready solutions they can offer for sale to municipalities across Ontario and ultimately to the North American civic tech market.