Long Beach has launched a new programme that enables vendors to pitch ideas and technology solutions even when the city hasn’t issued a formal request for proposals (RFP) or challenge.
The programme is part of Long Beach’s smart city initiative.
Lea Eriksen, City of Long Beach
“Pitch Long Beach! provides a clear process for innovative and emerging technology ideas to be pitched to the city,” said Lea Eriksen, CIO and Director of Technology and Innovation, City of Long Beach. “It also helps the city identify potential partners that can implement exploratory projects that, if successful, can be scaled into longer term projects.”
The Californian city is regularly approached by companies hoping to sell their products and services, and the new approach aims to provide a “novel framework” for gathering unsolicited vendor pitches and evaluating them with transparent criteria.
When pitches are of interest, the city will launch an open competitive procurement process to identify other solutions in the market, before selecting a vendor.
An overview document notes: “In traditional procurements, the city identifies a need, project, or challenge, and requests proposals from vendors to fill it. Pitch Long Beach! flips the script. It provides vendors with a way to pitch ideas that can expand the scope of potential city projects.”
The pitch programme was created based on research, consultation and workshops with both city staff and vendors. A vendor survey conducted in October 2021 found that only half of past and current city contractors agreed that they could propose innovative solutions to challenges the city faces.
“Pitch Long Beach! makes it easier to work with the city by enabling vendors to submit project ideas that will help our city overcome barriers,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “With this new process, we can work towards more innovative solutions and improve city services.”
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