Mayor Sly James Announces Seven Partners for Innovation Partnership Program

Kansas City, MO – Mayor Sly James today announced seven partners for the 2016 Innovation Partnership Program.

The Office of the Mayor - Sly James

The program, in its second year, provides a unique opportunity for startups to develop a use case and allows City Hall to explore, at no cost, how new technologies may improve City services in unique, forward-thinking ways.

“This partnership is a unique approach to the procurement process,” said Mayor James. “Historically, cities identify areas that need improvement and issue request for proposals to address them.  This program allows companies and City Hall to identify challenges and innovative solutions together.”

The program committee selected a broad range of companies this year to work with several City departments.  The partners include: Big Bang; Integrated Roadways; Pomerol Partners; Reality Technology; SORA; SpiderOak; and Stratex Planning.

The test program runs 12 weeks, from September 6 through November 25.  Partners will meet with the Office of Innovation and receive 20 hours of office space in City Hall weekly throughout the program. On December 13, the partners will present their technology services and discuss their pilot program experience in a pitch to Mayor Sly James and City Manager Troy Schulte and other attendees from city departments and the City Council.

“I am a big fan of technology and using it to make our lives better,” added Mayor James. “I look forward to learning more about the innovative solutions these participants will test with City Hall to help us serve Kansas Citians more efficiently and effectively.”

Partners were selected using several criteria including the ability to support economic development and operations strategies such as improving quality and efficiency of City services and operations, creating new markets and jobs; attracting and retaining top talent; and improving economic vitality, social equity and environmental quality.

Brief descriptions from the companies about their technological solutions along with the assigned test case departments are included below.


Big Bang: Jonathan Wagner
City Department: Office of Innovation & Public Works

Big Bang is bringing real-time open data to Kansas City. Software developers will be able to access information for all city transportation services in a single convenient location. This will also be the foundation for future transportation services, such as autonomous and connected vehicles. Kansas Citians will benefit from new apps that incorporate real-time transportation information, along with their location to help them navigate the city in a carefree and enjoyable way. Imagine planning your next trip across town and selecting from options such as “Greener”, “Cheaper”, or “Faster” and being presented with results that reflect the full range of available transportation in the city. Find the best electric vehicle parking along the streetcar line, or ride the last mile with Bike Share KC. Real-time open data will make it possible.

Integrated Roadways : Tim Sylvester
City Department: Public Works

Bolstering its ongoing Smart City efforts, Kansas City Public Works and Integrated Roadways will be collaborating on a plan to upgrade Kansas City streets with Smart Pavement. Integrated Roadways’ Smart Pavement system makes roads sustainably self-funded by providing value-added wireless services to support mobile connectivity and next-generation electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles. Smart Pavement is modular, upgradeable, and removable, making it easy to deliver new features, replace damaged sections, and access underlying utilities for service.

Pomerol Partners: Fred Hefer
City Department: Office of Performance Management

Pomerol Partners will bring investment banking grade analytics to KCMO. Our core aim is to bring insights out of the data, enabling our city’s decision makers to make quicker and more informed decisions. We will use the Qlik Analytics Platform to turn data into information, information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom.  A concurrent aim is bringing transparency to both internal and external users of the city’s data. We will build custom interfaces for different user types and give them rapid access via mobile devices.

Leveraging our experience in financial services, life sciences and manufacturing – we will focus in on what is truly needed to drive better actions.

Reality Technology: Ivan Drinks
City Department: Procurement

Reality Technology software application RS Compliance Manager™ will allow the City of Kansas City Missouri to automate, track and manage the post solicitation procurement process from negotiation through award compliance. The importance of small business to a vibrant economy is well known.  Research has shown that expenditures with local businesses generate a higher local economic impact than big box stores. RS Compliance Manager™ includes the ability to monitor and manage compliance to laws and local ordinances designed for small business thus improving local small business participation leading to increased local economic shared prosperity.  RS Compliance Manager™ can also interface with financial systems such as PeopleSoft and RFP systems such as RFP365.​


SORA: Jeff Dunn
City Department: Kansas City Fire Department

SORA Medical Solutions creates easy-to-use mobile apps that reduce medical error.  SORA’s Code Blue app, based on the American Heart Association’s guidelines, interactively navigates health care professionals through a cardiac arrest event while documenting in real-time.  Our hope is that providing actionable clinical decision support to KCMO first responders will improve health outcomes and save lives.

SpiderOak: Chris Cooley
City Department: Office of Performance Management

Based in the KC metro area, SpiderOak gives individuals, teams, and organizations control of their data online. The company’s encrypted Zero Knowledge cloud backup solution, SpiderOakONE, and new collaboration software Semaphor, are designed to make teams like the City of Kansas City more productive, connected, and secure in today’s online world. SpiderOak provides a messaging and collaboration tool that would be a secure alternative to email, providing an internal communications system within City Hall.

Stratex Planning: Raina Knox
City Department: Finance  & Office of Performance Management

Why do strategic planning processes frequently fail to deliver optimum results? Because strategic plans are complex to execute and organizations fail to embed the plan to become part of the day to day rhythm of doing business.  Stratex Solutions solves the problem of ineffective and inefficient strategic planning processes that fail to deliver meaningful change to the organization in alignment with the most important goals for the organization’s (Mission and Vision). Many plans are developed; few are fully implemented. The plans developed end up in a three ring binder on a shelf or lost in a shared drive because everyone’s too busy doing their day job to figure out what to do with the plan. The Stratex Planning system will be used to gather and collect The City’s key strategic and tactical data to develop an example of a robust plan. The plan elements will include strategic goals and objectives, tactical strategies, measures, and workforce plans. The system will cascade all elements of the plan to ensure alignment between the most important goals of the City and the work executed by employees. Every employee working in the plan will know how their work aligns with the plan and will be able to access the plan within the system. Organizational governance is conducted using the system making strategic planning related data and status available at any time.


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For more information regarding the Innovation Partnership Program, visit:

Contact: Joni Wickham: 816-513-6582 or cell: 816-572-2152