Vendor FAQ

  • Why do we encourage unsolicited proposals?

    The City of Long Beach is no stranger to piloting new solutions. From micromobility scooters to body-worn cameras, the City has already implemented a variety of initiatives that integrate innovative approaches and public service in a short-term timeframe. Recognizing that staff capacity is limited, the City aims to develop a clear process for prioritizing innovative ideas and technologies, identifying potential partners, and implementing exploratory projects that, if successful, can be scaled citywide. 

    The City of Long Beach already receives countless solicitations from vendors hoping to sell their products and services to the City. Pitch Long Beach! provides a novel framework for the vendor community to identify problems the City has not identified on its own and offer solutions that are aligned with legitimate City needs. 

  • What are some possible benefits for vendors who decide to participate?

    • Exposure: Showcase your innovative ideas to Long Beach government officials.

    • Product Refinement: If your product passes the initial screen, we will provide targeted feedback from our subject matter experts. Proposals that are selected to pilot may also receive guidance during implementation.

    • Prototyping and User Testing: If your pilot proposal is selected, as time and capacity allows, you may receive support from the City and other partners to monitor, evaluate, design, and pilot implementation. Product teams will collect data and get feedback from real government users to build their products and services out to appeal to other potential customers.

    • Networking: Proposals that are selected and successfully complete pilot implementation will be featured on the City’s website and be exposed to the wider Long Beach business ecosystem through the City and industry partners.

    • Make a Difference: Help make Long Beach an innovative, creative City and improve the quality of life for folks who live, work, and play here.

  • What is a pilot project?

    A pilot project, as opposed to a software trial or proof of concept, is one way of allowing the City to test out a potentially transformative solution, measure its impact, and decide on its feasibility before investing heavy time and resources. 

    More broadly, pilots also provide many other benefits. They:
    • Engage and test new ideas to measure community impact through robust data collection; 
    • Improve operational efficiency and delivery of key City services and programs; 
    • Allow for iterative co-creation and design of solutions with partners that have the potential to scale; 
    • Increase understanding before committing to a full-scale contract; 
    • Allow City Departments to find solutions for their needs while enforcing standards for data collection, project scoping, and evaluations; 
    • Allow for failure if pilot projects don’t meet stated goals; and 


  • What are the Smart City Guiding Principles that all unsolicited proposals should meet?

    1. Design for Equity: Reduce historic inequities and disparities by ensuring advancements in technology and service delivery are accessible to all and improve quality of life for communities that have been underserved.

    2. Earn Public Trust: Build public confidence through excellence in data privacy, data transparency, and community engagement.

    3. Cultivate Local Expertise: Promote place-based growth by supporting Long Beach entrepreneurs and businesses, improving workforce job-readiness, and building partnership networks.

    4. Build Civic Resilience: Improve capacity to respond efficiently and effectively to the most-pressing civic challenges using data-informed decision-making.

  • What are the City Priority Challenges that all unsolicited proposals must meet?

    • Economic opportunity, equity & resiliency: Long Beach provides economic opportunity for all.

    • Digital inclusion & technology: People have access to technology to learn, communicate, engage, and thrive in our City.

    • Housing & homelessness: Housing is available, safe, inviting and affordable.Improving efficiency of operations and service delivery;

    • Mobility, equity placemaking, & reimagining the public right of way: Mobility and infrastructure needs are met for all individuals and communities in Long Beach.

    • Public safety: People are safe and secure in their homes and neighborhoods.

    • Health, behavioral health & wellness: People and communities are healthy and well.

    • Education: People have access to quality education across their life span to learn and grow.

    • Climate & environmental sustainability: Long Beach is environmentally sustainable and resilient. 

    • Government resilience & service delivery: Ensure Long Beach can effectively and resiliently engage and serve communities.

  • What are company expectations?

    • Data Access: Vendors are expected to provide the City with easily-accessible data to evaluate the success of the pilot program. Project data may be utilized by the City for related services and initiatives. The City prefers that data is provided in a raw, automated manner and that an Application Programming Interface (API) is made available to City staff to easily incorporate project data into other City systems.

    • Data Privacy: Vendors must comply with all relevant privacy and information security legislation and procedures, and must adhere to the City’s Data Privacy Guidelines.  

    • Demo Day: At the end of the pilot period, vendors are expected to present at the City’s Demo Day and showcase their products and/or services, share their experiences, and progress reports to the public and City staff. More details will be provided closer to the date of the event.

    • Timeframe: The opportunity to provide any product or service piloted through the Pitch Long Beach! Program shall only extend through the agreed-upon pilot period and shall not continue thereafter. 

    • Future Use: The City provides no guarantee of future use, purchase or procurement of any products or services piloted through this Program. Participation in the Pitch Long Beach! Program is not in any way an advance or benefit vis-à-vis  any other vendor in subsequent solicitation or procurements held by the City or any participating entity. 

  • Are contracts to selected vendors guaranteed?

    If after selection of a vendor, the City cannot negotiate the proposer’s participation, the City reserve all rights to terminate the solicitation.

  • Unsolicited Pilot Overview

  • Will the contents of the submission remain as my intellectual property?

    The intellectual property rights of the idea and related materials are owned by applicants. However, we urge applicants to bear in mind that this is an open innovation call that is looking for co-creation and joint development. Unsolicited Proposals are subject to the provisions of the California Public Records Act (CPRA). Under the CPRA, the City is required to make its public records available for public disclosure, unless there is a specific reason not to do so. Proposers should mark documents of concern as “Trade Secret,” “Confidential” or “Proprietary.” The City will use its best efforts to inform the proposers of any request for any confidential documents pertaining to their proposals. Additionally, City personnel are prohibited from using any data, or any confidential patented, trademarked, or copyrighted part of an Unsolicited Proposal as the basis for a solicitation or in negotiations with any other proposer, unless the original proposer is notified and agrees to the intended use of the proprietary information.

  • Why should I put effort into a pilot proposal when it may result in a competitive bidding process?

    The Unsolicited Proposal Program adds a layer of innovation onto the City’s legal procurement requirements and expands access to new ideas by giving the City more exposure to what is available in the market. The program offers a framework that can lead to better partnerships with private sector participants, and it creates more opportunities for private sector companies to do business with the City. This is a pathway for the City to implement projects that otherwise might not have appened until well into the future, if at all. Though by submitting an unsolicited proposal, the proposer is, in effect, creating an opportunity where one did not previously exist.

  • If my proposal results in an RFP, do I have any advantage in that process?

    The City is dedicated to fair and open competition in all procurement efforts. However, a successful proposal is creating an opportunity that did not previously exist. Therefore, as the originator of the proposal, your ideas and approaches would give you a fair competitive advantage in a future RFP. 

  • Can I propose a pilot that is not free for the City?

    Long Beach does not offer financial compensation for companies submitting an unsolicited proposal, unless costs are stipulated by the vendor and agreed to by the City. In your proposal form, please stipulate if there is an anticipated cost to the City for the pilot.

  • Will the city keep my product/service at the end of the pilot?

    Any equipment used will not be retained or considered property of the City or participating authorities. All products piloted as part of the Unsolicited Proposal Program will be returned at the end of the pilot.

  • Can the solution provider be an individual, a group/consortium of individuals, or a company?

    Yes, individuals and sole proprietorships are eligible, along with companies. Selected vendors will be required to submit a W-9 to receive payment. 

  • Are established companies and companies from outside of Long Beach eligible to participate?

    Yes, we welcome companies of all stages to participate. While local solution providers will receive preference over those from outside Long Beach (where proposal quality is similar), we welcome participation from well-qualified innovators everywhere.

  • Are you seeking solutions that already have been developed? Or, is this open to MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) that would need further development?

    We will only consider products or services that are “deployment” ready, this means we cannot pilot or co-build “ideas.” You must also be able to support your business financially throughout the process of piloting.

  • Are you only seeking technology and/or app-enabled solutions only?

    We will only be accepting submissions that are considered technology or “tech-enabled.” "Tech-enabled" refers to any solution that has a technology component but doesn’t necessarily hinge on any specific technology.

  • Will I have access to existing City-owned infrastructure and technology systems?

    The possibility to use existing City-owned infrastructure and technology will be assessed during the proposal evaluation stage and considered after a cybersecurity and operations review by the Steering Committee.  

  • What if my pitch includes confidential, trade secret, or proprietary information?

    We encourage proposers to avoid including confidential, trade secret, and/or proprietary information in your Idea Form pitch. The City reserves the right to use contents of your pitch to develop future solicitations, including Expressions of Interest (EOIs) to determine whether additional organizations would be interested in the opportunity to provide a similar solution to your idea. Ideas you submit are subject to the provisions of the California Public Records Act (CPRA). Under the CPRA, the City is required to make its public records available for public disclosure, unless there is a specific reason not to do so. Proposers should mark documents of concern as “Trade Secret,” “Confidential” or “Proprietary.” The City will use its best efforts to inform the proposers of any request for any confidential documents pertaining to their pitches. 

  • Does my pitch need to be for a short-term pilot or can I pitch a full project?

    We are open to pitches that are for full contracts or projects, but we may opt to enter into a pilot agreement so we can better understand your solution before committing to a full contract.