Technology startups in California are addressing the most urgent needs and opportunities in state and local government. Here are five that have drawn the attention of the CivStart Accelerator.

March 15, 2022

Niles Friedman, Nick Lyell

Five technology startups in California are addressing the most urgent needs and opportunities in state and local government – and have drawn the attention of the CivStart Accelerator.

The Accelerator, focused exclusively on state and local government technology, has supported some of the most civic-minded, public-interest technologies of the past few years. While we serve a diverse set of innovative startup founders from across the United States, the following is a short list of some of the most innovative startups solving the most pressing challenges facing state and local governments today.

Putting the power of Digital Transformation into local government hands
Emgage is a Pasadena-based startup flexible enough to solve almost any problem. Defying the “stay narrow” received wisdom in the startup community, they have a powerful combination of a profoundly customizable no-code platform for developing apps, a library of pre-built applications by and for other local governments, and an expert team who understand the field and are willing to work hand-in-hand with you to meet your technology challenges.

Bringing video evidentiary standards into the 21st century
Ever wonder how lawyers sift through hours and hours of video evidence for their many ongoing cases and do an excellent job of analyzing that evidence? The short answer is that interns do it, and not always as well as a case deserves. But JusticeText is an Irvine-based startup that empowers public defenders to spend their time and efforts actually analyzing the evidence rather than merely sifting through it. Featured in ABA Journal, Forbes and elsewhere, they are a team to watch.

Civic-minded designers taking on the wicked problems
Exygy is a San Jose startup of designers and developers working on the wicked problems facing local governments: affordable housing, social services, equity, and inclusive design. Their solutions, like Bloom Housing, are helping people apply for and get the housing they and their families need. They work with state and local governments and social impact organizations to power up their impact via technology.

Treating city finances with the seriousness they deserve
GovInvest, based in Manhattan Beach, provides elected officials and city finance officers with customized software and expert analysis for accurate projection modeling and actuarial valuations. This team ensures that local governments are prepared for their future financial obligations, risks and opportunities.

Virtual reality training for the next generation of caregivers
How can technology make us more human? Embodied Labs, based in L.A., is providing an immersive training platform for governments committed to providing excellent care and service. Through VR experiences, those providing care can embody the perspectives and conditions of other people, gaining an understanding they can’t get from traditional training tools. These insights empower our users to provide more effective care.

Niles Friedman

Niles Friedman has more than 15 years’ executive management and advisory experience in the private and public sectors across the U.S., the European Union and Africa. He has worked for 10 years to increase innovation capacity and enhance technology capabilities across the federal government, the State of California, Los Angeles County, and international health ministries. He is an Executive Adviser with Star Insights, based in Los Angeles.

Nick Lyell

Nick Lyell, a CivStart co-founder and its chief impact officer, brings a range of expertise in media, narrative and visual communications strategy and tactics along with a familiarity with both local government and civic technology communities. He loves to leverage technology to help governments make the largest impacts with their communities.