UK startup venture firm Public is partnering with Accenture in a bid to ramp up its aim to bring new technologies to market which can transform public services.
The venture firm, which was founded in 2016, supports several companies in the public sector as well as building up startups where they see a gap in the market. These startups range across different sectors such as healthtech, fintech and smart city developers.
“We also incubate startups where we see an opportunity to do something that is not currently available, or if we think there are large incumbents that need to be challenged we will build companies and we’re doing that in a lot of different areas,” Daniel Korski, CEO and co-founder at Public tells Techworld.
Public hosts a series of cohorts and currently has a portfolio of 24 Govtech startups developing solutions across a wide range of digital government areas.
The new partnership with Accenture is expected to help in further scaling Govtech across Europe. This will be done through Public's six-month GovStart programme, where Accenture will provide mentorship and expertise in public sector transformation to the selected startups.
GovStart is an accelerator programme, initially available in the UK and France, which provides support to startups designing technologies aimed at transform public services. It also holds an annual Govtech summit in Paris.
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“We thought it would be a great opportunity to partner with [Accenture] around the GovStart programme so that the companies we’re supporting have a broad range of opportunities in order to apply their technology.
“Often, they may supply a pinpoint solution where a company like Accenture may be sitting on a much larger innovation process and that company may not get in there themselves, but with our collaboration with Accenture they will have a much larger opportunity,” he adds.
Its previous programmes include six months of active support with structured and unstructured engagement, followed by another six months of an alumni programme where companies receive structured mentoring.
Public hopes to continually support startups emerging to develop technologies that will create smarter public services for citizens. This is backed by research from Accenture which found that 75 percent of global citizens believe the government needs to tackle complex issues through greater collaboration.
“Some governments know they need to work more with startups but they don’t quite know how, so there’s a lot of enthusiasm but a lot of old-school systems that still need to change in order to allow the kind of transformation that new companies can offer,” he says.
The Govtech industry has the potential to become one of Europe’s most important digital sectors, with Public predicting the UK Govtech market to be worth £20 billion by 2025.
The report also revealed that 51 percent of governments report positive gains from the use of intelligent technologies. Figures are expected to rise as more and more technologies are developed for government purposes.
“I think there’s a really good understanding now across the government that startups have transformed every sector and they haven’t really been able to work their magic in the public sector, but every time they get a chance to do so they just incorporate them in small ways like a smart procurement system, convergence, culture and training,” Korski says.