ELGL and UrbanLeap announce the inaugural Innovation Cohort for 2019, focused on small places with big ideas.
This project brings together innovators from smaller cities, counties, and towns to utilize the technological resources of UrbanLeap.
Together, the group will identify a common local government issue to address, discover potential solutions, select a subset to pilot, and then share results, learning and best practices garnered from the development, implementation and evaluation of these pilot programs.
The Innovation Cohort is your opportunity to tap into the collective energy and intelligence of the ELGL network with the assistance of the UrbanLeap experience.
You’ll work with your Innovation Cohort to learn about new solutions, test them and learn from the experiences, and then figure out how to put those solutions into action in your small or rural community.
Along the way, we’ve built out a support network founded in camaraderie, public service, good intentions, and best practices.
Cohort participants will work together to identify and prioritize the issues under consideration in the yearly program, and then to experiment with different solutions, share feedback, and discuss new approaches.
The cohort will be required to fully engage in the ELGL subnetwork created for this Innovation Cohort including (but not limited to) collaborative tools through the UrbanLeap platform, the project’s dedicated Slack channel, monthly webinars, content (blog and podcast) sharing, the fall ELGL regional conferencing event the week of September 23, 2019, and participation in the #ELGL20 annual conference in May 2020.
The program runs for one-year and is limited to 25 organizations from U.S. cities, counties, and towns. An application is required, and applicants must engage at least one FTE or its equivalent as primary stakeholders in the project.
Final selection will favor participants from towns with populations under 30,000 (although other applicants are encouraged to apply).
Detailed information about program costs, benefits, deadlines, and more can be found in the program summary. If you have questions about the program, reach out to Emily at [email protected] for more information.
We hope you'll join us for a year of learning, collaborating, and solving public problems together!
FAQ: Updated May 8, 2019
Q: Does the $2,500 program cost cover the cost of vendor services for pilots?
A: Regarding vendor costs, some vendors may decide to charge for a pilot, but many will not - and it would be up to you whether to select a vendor that offers a pilot at a cost to you. The cohort will discuss this during the initial kickoff meetings this summer; many cities set a policy that pilots cannot have a cost, and we may decide to set that as a rule for the cohort once we have discussed it as a group.
Q: I can't afford an all-in membership, but we really want to apply.
A: We've made a new Small Communities All-In Membership just for folks under 10K population, with five employee spots for $150 annually. You can register for that here. We want you to be a part of this and don't want cost to be a barrier, so if you have further questions, reach out to [email protected] and we'll work something out!
Q: I'm a council or conference of governments. Can I apply on behalf of my member communities?
A: You can! We'd love to see COGs support smaller communities this way. Please reach out to [email protected] to set up a time to discuss the expectations and logistics for this type of application.
Q: Yikes! June 1 is awfully close to the end of the fiscal year. When are payments due?
A: Recognizing that the end of the fiscal year is close for most communities, we'll send the first invoice, for half of the amount due, on June 15, payable by July 30. We'll send the second invoice 30 days later on July 15, payable by August 30. If you need additional assistance with payments, please reach out to [email protected] and we'll see how we can help.
Q: Yikes! I'll need a special resolution and even with this extension I won't be able to get a payment authorized by then.
A: Please reach out to [email protected] to review options for other payment agreements!