Four reasons why governments should work with startups


Shreya Arora

June 20, 2022

Public agencies’ decisions are always under scrutiny, which is why working with startups has been known to be risky for governments. However, there is a myriad of reasons why working with startups will give you the best outcomes for your agency.

1. Startups can move quickly

Because startups have less bureaucracy or process to get through to make big changes, they are able to move faster on requests, and can even adapt to certain situations more quickly.

Our story: When the news first broke out of COVID in the US, it took my team only 2 weeks to build a fully functioning platform for government agencies to share information and challenges with each other. After 4 months, we completely changed the direction of the company, building a local agency procurement platform.

2. Startups focus on innovation rather than digitization

The new wave of technology companies takes a human-centered approach to problem-solving rather than simply capitalizing on digitizing a process. Don’t get me wrong, if an agency is still not used to software, then digitization is great; it does help efficiency. However, the methodology startups use is to utilize software as a means to solve a problem, rather than duplicating that problem digitally.

Our story: When thinking about government procurement at UrbanLeap, it was clear that procurement was a huge pain. We could solve a large part of that pain by bringing it online, but we invested more in understanding the problems. As we were bringing procurement digitally, we did it in such a way that its broken process did not come with it. We spoke to people experiencing this and built a product that would solve root causes, which more often than not was not a software issue.

3. You may be able to co-develop solutions

Startups in the GovTech space are always looking to speak with users before they build; it is a common way to develop new products. If they speak with you, they are getting the information straight from the source, and you will have the ability to influence what the product builds. You essentially have a company build exactly for your problem set.

Our story: When we first did research on this procurement product, we spoke to 50+ government leaders and actually developed our first version with 5 of them. Problems that they were facing in this space and the correct way to solve them was a coordinated effort between us and the government leaders.

4. Startups have more to prove

If considered a “startup,” most companies have not achieved Product-Market-Fit yet. Most of the time, startups provide extra service and cater more towards product changes you need because they are still winning over their initial customer base.

Our story: When we first launched our product, we were really open to hearing product feedback and building things specifically for our existing customers (we still do this!). But we wanted to provide the most we could given that we had a smaller clientele.

Next time you're thinking of how to solve your next challenge, turn to startups for some innovative solutions. Curious as to how UrbanLeap helps solve government procurement? Schedule a demo now at

Ready to take the leap?