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April 6, 2022

May 11, 2022

A New Community Platform for GovTech Innovators: GovStart 2.0

When PUBLIC was first founded, we set out on a mission to transform the way public services are managed, delivered and experienced by citizens. Whilst governments across Europe had begun their journey on digital transformation, we identified that there remained a firm disconnect between the public sector and the startup ecosystem. This lack of synergy meant a vast pool of entrepreneurial talent and innovative technology solutions capable of meaningful change remained untapped. We knew this needed to be addressed and so, GovStart was born.

In 2017, we launched both PUBLIC’s and Europe’s first accelerator programme dedicated to supporting startups to work more closely with governments and transform the delivery of public services. Since then, we have had the privilege of working with over 45 companies to refine their offering, expand their networks and scale their innovative solutions across the UK, Germany, and France. GovStart Alumni have deployed products across citizen engagement, health, social care, online safety - as well as many other diverse public sector environments. The ecosystem we have built over the last few years has been remarkable.

Thanks to GovStart, startups and scaleups have been central to almost every aspect of the work we do at PUBLIC. From providing startup secondments to military personnel on the Percy Hobart Fellowship, to solving core public issues through our challenge programmes with the Ministry of Justice, Cabinet Office and DCMS and the Federal State of Hesse, amongst many others, and speaking at our flagship events such as the GovTech Summit and Defence Disrupted, startups have consistently been core to PUBLIC’s values. In total, we have worked directly with 139 startups through our programmes, and engaged with many more across other projects.  

Through interacting with countless startups, we have developed a unique and in-depth understanding of the key challenges startups face when seeking to engage with the public sector and how to solve them. Now, the GovTech sector is both recognised and maturing, with many startups and scaleups providing technology solutions to support governments in a way we haven’t seen at this scale before. Yet, there is still more work to be done. Many new entrants still face significant barriers to entry whilst the nuances around best practices when working with government are still yet to be readily defined and made available at large. With the market now evolved, we knew GovStart needed to take the next step too to ensure innovation continues across Europe. 

With that in mind, we are so excited to launch a brand new GovStart: a free to use community and engagement platform that will now host the programme. This year, GovStart will run two programmes, in both the UK and Germany, onboarding 65 startups and scaleups who have the potential to solve public sector issues and provide them with a six-month curriculum consisting of events, learning content and a variety of tools. Through GovStart, startups will develop an understanding of how to integrate and scale their solutions in the public sector - from navigating public procurement challenges to crafting an effective sales strategy and narrative. The programme will provide vital networking opportunities with key decision-makers across government, investors and other important stakeholders, as well as building a community of best in class companies who can support each other in overcoming public sector challenges. 

In Germany, the startups are further supported by the strategic partners of this year's GovStart programme - T-Systems and Google Cloud.  Through their Sovereign Cloud for German companies, the public sector and healthcare organisations, T-Systems and Google aim to specifically address public sector challenges in order to be able to create innovations together with startups, even in a highly regulated environment. 

For GovTech to be truly successful, the public sector needs a diversified range of suppliers who can offer innovative solutions to society’s most pressing challenges. Bringing together the startup ecosystem through our new and more accessible GovStart offer marks another important step forward for public sector transformation. 

Applications for GovStart are now open until 1st May. Apply here today.

To book a meeting with the GovStart team to find out more, contact us

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Authors

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Alexander de Carvalho

CIO & Co-Founder

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Nils Hoffmann

Managing Director

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Chiara Carlini

Lead, Startup & Challenge Programmes

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