Long Beach
Innovation Team

411 West Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 012716
BreakThru Long Beach RFI Release Party Marks Milestone of Innovative Pilot Program
Alma Castro
City Innovation Fellow, i-team

Mayor Robert Garcia and the Long Beach i-team invite the public to the BreakThru Long Beach Request for Information (RFI) Release Party. The event will take place on Thursday, January 28, 2016, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm, with a short program at 6:00 pm, at the Small Business Development Center, 309 Pine Avenue. This event celebrates a milestone in the innovative pilot program, features tips on how local businesses can participate, and is a great chance to network. 

Long Beach is one of the first American cities to pilot this innovative approach, which will help us get the best ideas from the global marketplace,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I’m proud that Long Beach continues to lead on technology, and we are looking forward to working with entrepreneurs and innovators from Long Beach and around the world.” 

BreakThru Long Beach is a partnership between the City of Long Beach and Citymart, Inc. New York-based Citymart connects cities with new ideas through open challenges that help governments focus on the problems that need to be solved instead of the products they need to buy. By issuing challenges in lieu of Requests for Proposals (RFP) and specifications, cities receive proven, innovative solutions. Working with Citymart, Long Beach is slated to release five service challenges in 2016. The RFI Release Party marks the release of the first two challenges: (1) Launch, Do, Growand (2) Sparking a Culture of Tech Innovation. 

The first challenge, Launch, Do, Grow, is a business assistance challenge. The City is seeking ways to make it easier for first-time entrepreneurs to launch, do business, and grow in Long Beach. Through the second challenge, Sparking a Culture of Tech Innovation, the City is seeking ways to catalyze a local ecosystem that supports the technology and innovation economy. 

The search for solutions begins with Citymart scouting the globe, including Long Beach, to find firms with great solutions. Citymart will then encourage the firms to respond to the simple, seven-question RFI. The responses help the City learn more about the marketplace and better craft Request for Proposals. The RFP then provides an opportunity to compete for a contract with the City to provide their solution. Unlike traditional RFPs, the BreakThru Long Beach RFP will be more open ended and less prescriptive. 

“Thursday’s event is more than a celebration,” said i-team director John Keisler. “The Citymart challenge provides an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to pitch solutions to the City and is one example of how the Long Beach i-team deploys a host of innovation techniques to generate new and innovative ideas to solve City challenges. If you’re curious, come find out more!” 

Two hours of free parking are available at the nearby City Place parking structure. RSVPs are requested to i-team@longbeach.gov. For more information, visit www.longbeach.gov/iteam
Follow this story on the web at www.longbeach.gov/iteam, and on social media at @iteam_LongBeach, @LongBeachCity, and @CitymartTeam, #BreakThruLB. 

Project Support and Partners
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Long Beach Community Foundation provided a $50,000 matching grant to make this partnership possible. The Long Beach Community Foundation is a nonprofit, public organization with over $25 million in assets and 96 charitable funds, whose mission is to initiate positive change for Long Beach through charitable giving, stewardship, and strategic grantmaking with a vision of being the preeminent steward of endowments serving the needs of Long Beach in perpetuity. 

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.

Support from the i-team also makes this partnership possible. The City of Long Beach is one of nearly 20 cities around the world participating in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program. The program aims to improve the capacity of City Halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve residents’ lives. Innovation teams function as in-house innovation consultants, moving from one mayoral priority to the next. Using Bloomberg Philanthropies’ tested Innovation Delivery approach, i-teams help agency leaders and staff through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results.