Sept. 2, 2015—New York-based Citymart wants to change how municipalities handle procurement. The startup has been proving its concept in the Eurozone and recently moved to the U.S. with a few significant partner cities, including New York City, and Long Beach, California. We spoke with the founders who say that, while conducting their first 100 challenges, they learned a lot about how big the problems are in municipal procurement.
“We started out Citymart with the idea that you could create a catalog of solutions and, if you put them all in one place, cities would just pick the best ones. But one thing we found is that cities need a lot more help than we expected. So we are working with them to prioritize the problems,” explains Citymart CEO Sascha Haselmayer in an inteview with CivSource.
Here’s how it works: Cities partner with Citymart, which provides a platform and knowledgebase for cities to open up procurement to small businesses and civic startups. Through Citymart, municipalities learn how to prioritize and communicate problems into a challenge question hosted on the Citymart platform. Startups, businesses and other stakeholders can submit solutions to that problem, and the city will choose the best option. The platform is designed to orient procurement away from single task orders, or pure purchase agreements, and toward solving actual problems.
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