What We Do

Launched in 2014, Civic Innovation Lab creates a multi-stakeholder process designed to prototype and test viable solutions for civic and social challenges - driven by citizens, informed by open data, and supported by local government.

Civic Innovation Lab is uniquely positioned to provide the following services to local and regional municipalities and organizations: 



We bridge the digital divide between the technology and public interest sectors by bringing together teams of digital professionals to lend their services pro bono on projects for organizations that address pressing social and civic problems.

Get Involved: I want to volunteer



We design and facilitate a community engagement process that uses participatory design thinking, social lab methods, and open data aimed at generating community-sourced innovation challenges. We then provide hands-on stakeholder facilitation and technical capacity to design, execute, promote, and manage civic and social innovation challenges at the local and regional levels.

Get Involved: I want to run an innovation challenge



We’ve taken the best from start-up accelerators, added top-notch prototyping curriculum, and design-thinking expertise to create a program that accelerates the best citizen-driven solutions to our most pressing civic and social problems. We ensure this process leverages and informs the open data and civic tech movements.

Teams receive the following resources to further develop their solutions. These resources may include, but are not limited to:

  • Access to Funding: Teams will be eligible for seed funding and introductions to investors and grant makers.

  • Mentorship: Teams will receive feedback on their concept and refine their story through mentorship and presentation coaching from subject-matter experts and notable entrepreneurs;

  • Peer-to-Peer Accountability: Regular check-ins with fellow entrepreneurs who will monitor their progress and keep them on track towards reaching pre-determined milestones;

  • Community: Access to a diverse community of members through our partnerships who are committed to using their work to create positive social and environmental change, and to support each other towards achieving success;

  • Local Government: Engagement  opportunities (e.g., interview city staff, "ride-along" opportunities) to enable residents to more closely understand the civic challenges at hand;

  • Partner Resources: Access to additional resources such as discounted classes and membership to local co-working spaces.

Get Involved: I want to build an accelerator program