Got ideas on how the city can work with local businesses to craft tech innovation? Or perhaps you have constructive criticism on how the city can better assist your business, helping you to succeed and give the city’s base an economic boost. Maybe you’re just craving some small business tips.
Either way you slice it, tomorrow at the Small Business Development Center on Pine Avenue, you have the chance to interact with city officials, network and begin the process of sharing your two cents.
On Thursday, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and the city’s i-team are kicking off a party at the center, from 5:30PM to 7:30PM, intended to mark the release of the Request for Information (RFI) process for BreakThru Long Beach, the city’s pilot program, launched in partnership with Citymart, a New York-based organization that seeks to find affordable, sustainable solutions to a city’s problems.
Long Beach and its i-team have identified attracting, nurturing and growing the city’s business talent as their prime issue area, and BreakThru Long Beach is part of this focus.
The BreakThru Long Beach RFI’s findings will inform the program’s planned Request for Proposal process, when the program will challenge international firms, including some in Long Beach, to create innovative solutions to help the city grow business. According to the city, unlike traditional RFPs, the “challenges” issued by BreakThru Long Beach to these firms will be “more open-ended and less prescriptive.”
Tomorrow’s celebration will feature tips on how local businesses can participate, while offering them a 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 Garcia in a statement. “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.”
This year, Long Beach will release five RFP/service “challenges” in 2016, in partnership with Citymart. The RFI Release Party is celebrating the release of the first two challenges, as described above: (1) Launch, Do, Grow and (2) Sparking a Culture of Tech Innovation.
Specifically, the Launch, Do, Grow RFI is a business assistance challenge that seeks information on ways to make it easier for first-time entrepreneurs to launch, do business and grow in Long Beach. The second challenge, Sparking a Culture of Tech Innovation specifically seeks ways to “catalyze a local ecosystem that supports the technology and innovation economy.”
The RFI will ask seven questions of firms around the globe, including Long Beach, so the city can learn more about the marketplace when they create their Request for Proposals. The RFP will officially provide the firm with the opportunity to compete for a contract with the city to provide the solution.
“Thursday’s event is more than a celebration,” said i-team Director John Keisler in a statement. “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!”
For more information, follow the event on the web at www.longbeach.gov/iteam, and on social media at @iteam_LongBeach, @LongBeachCity, and @CitymartTeam, #BreakThruLB.
The Small Business Development Center is located at 309 Pine Avenue.