State of GovTech 2021

Jun 15 - 16, 2021


Over the last decade, the government technology (‘GovTech’) market has experienced rapid growth and acceleration driven by a perfect storm of market dynamics, including democratized technology infrastructure, reduced friction in the procurement process, increased access to funding for scaling startups, a growing set of entrepreneurs targeting government as their primary customer. The unprecedented events of 2020 further accelerated these market dynamics and increased state and local government spending to over $111 billion on information technology and related services. As we’ve entered 2021, the GovTech ecosystem has continued to experience rapid growth and innovation to meet the new needs of government and the residents it serves - and market opportunities remain to connect this growing ecosystem around new complex public sector problems that need to be solved. In response, e.Republic and CivStart partnered on a new market event to help governments, existing companies, investors, and entrepreneurs come together to better understand the State of GovTech and what opportunities lie ahead in 2021 and beyond. 

In this event attendees had the opportunity to:

  • Discover the latest GovTech market trends and projections.
  • Hear first-hand from government about the new needs, challenges, and opportunities for the GovTech ecosystem to help solve.
  • See live demos of new technology and innovation from startups bringing new technology to government through the CivStart accelerator.
  • Find out the key elements of growth and innovation from GovTech companies that are rapidly growing in the market.
  • Learn directly from investors in the GovTech ecosystem about what opportunities exist for scaling companies in the market.

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Advisory Board

Government Representatives

Barbara Cohn
Chief Data Officer, Department of Transportation, State of Colorado

Barbara Cohn is the Chief Data Officer at the Colorado Department of Transportation. A leader in Open Data, one of CDO Magazine's Global Data Power Women, and an expert in public policy, Barbara has held multiple leadership roles in state and local government. Barbara operates at the intersection of business, data, policy, technology, and people - challenging entrenched thinking, inspiring new interpretations and innovative solutions.

Barbara previously served as New York State’s first Chief Data Officer. In 2016, Barbara was recognized as one of Government Technology Magazine’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, & Drivers. She has an extensive background in advancing the utilization of data as a strategic asset with the objective of turning raw data into actionable knowledge; fostering creative and cooperative problem solving; developing robust analytical capabilities to maximize business insight; establishing governance policies and standards; and facilitating data interoperability. As New York State CDO, Barbara was the chief architect of New York State’s acclaimed open data portal, Open NY, and principal drafter of the NYS Open Data Handbook and the NYS Dataset Submission Guide.


Mitch Herckis
Senior Advisor, Cyber Command, City of New York City

Mitch Herckis is a Senior Advisor at New York City Cyber Command and advised in the founding of CivStart.  

In his current role, Mitch is responsible for guiding implementation of governmentwide cybersecurity efforts, as well as overseeing NYC Cyber Command’s resident-facing initiatives and public affairs. 

Prior to joining New York City government, Mitch spent 15 years focused on state and local public policy on behalf of non-profit organizations and the private sector, giving him a wide reaching network of state and local leaders.  

Mitch served as Director for State and Local Government Programs at FireEye-Mandiant, supporting the cybersecurity of public sector entities across the nation.  He also brings a wealth of technology policy and advocacy experience from his roles as Director of Government Affairs for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), and Senior Legislative Counsel and Principal Associate for Federal Relations at the National League of Cities (NLC). In addition, Mitch has also served as a consultant, strategist, and advocate for individual states, cities, and towns on a variety of public policy concerns.

Mitch helped develop Route Fifty, a publication focused on state and local government issues, serving as its Senior Editor and Director of Strategic Initiatives.


Dr. Peter Pirnejad
City/District Manager, City of Foster City

Dr. Peter Pirnejad is an award-winning local government expert who has hands-on innovation, technology, and community development experience. With over 20 years local government experience in public administration, Dr. Pirnejad had previously served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Napa and as the Development Services Director for the City of Palo Alto. Dr. Pirnejad has received awards complimenting his team’s ability to develop policies that advance sustainability, building safety, and collaboration. His passion for advancing government technology earned him a range of innovation awards as well as a seat on a number of non-profit boards committed to promoting innovation in government, including Alliance for Innovation and CivStart.org.

Dr. Pirnejad has also served on a number of public sector membership boards and commissions, including president of the CA League of Cities (LCC) Planning Department and in mentoring of next generation City Managers with the International City/Council Management Association (ICMA). Dr. Pirnejad has a BA in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Masters and Doctorate in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California.

Prior to assuming his role as the City/District Manager for the City of Foster City in January 2021, Dr. Pirnejad led Oracle’s Global Public Sector Industry Strategy focused on State and Local Government as the Executive Director. As City/District Manager for Foster City, he is applying his leadership abilities to best serve the needs of the public sector today and into the future.


Mitchell Weiss
Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School

Mitch Weiss is a Professor of Management Practice in the Entrepreneurial Management unit and the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Business School. He created and teaches the school's course on Public Entrepreneurship—on public leaders and private entrepreneurs who invent a difference in the world. He also teaches The Entrepreneurial Manager in the first year of the MBA Program. Prior to joining HBS in 2014, Mitch was Chief of Staff and a partner to Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino. Mitch helped shape New Urban Mechanics, Boston’s municipal innovation strategy, and make it a model for peer-produced government and change. He is the author of We the Possibility from Harvard Business Review Press (2021).  

Industry Representatives

Niles Friedman

Executive Advisor, Star Insights

Niles Friedman is a founding Executive Advisor with Star Insights, a strategic advisory firm working with social impact organizations and leaders. Niles has built an adaptable approach to strategically collaborate across sectors and industries through his work with start-up founders, c-suite executives, public-sector administrators, and nonprofit leaders. Over the last ten years Niles has built innovation offices and functions, created technology strategic planning programs, and instilled sustainable culture change across the U.S. federal government, State of California, Los Angeles County, and international ministries.


Steve Ressler
GovTech Entrepreneur & Investor

Steve Ressler is a serial entrepreneur and investor in GovTech.

He was the founder and CEO of GovLoop, an online community connecting over 250,000+ government employees, which he successfully sold in 2009 to GovDelivery. He was also the Chief Marketing Officer of GovDelivery & eventually Granicus, one of the largest and fastest-growing software platforms serving state and local governments under Vista Equity Partners' ownership.  He was most recently President of Callyo, a software and technology solutions provider for law enforcement, which he grew and ultimately led the sale of to Motorola Solutions in 2020.

He’s also a third-generation government employee, having started his career at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where he worked for five years in a range of technology and counterterrorism roles. As part of this work, he received a graduate scholarship from DHS for his work on social network analysis and terrorism.

He is passionate about sharing the lessons and best practices he has learned founding, running and managing GovTech companies.  He is an active investor in Govtech with 15+ investments including multiple successful exits. Steve, his wife and two boys live in Washington, DC and he spends his free time with his family playing Roblox, falling behind his kids’ Spanish skills, and perfecting his latte art.


Kirsten Wyatt
Executive Director & Co-Founder, ELGL

Kirsten Wyatt is the executive director and co-founder of ELGL. Previously, she served as Assistant City Manager of West Linn, Oregon.  Also at the city of West Linn, she was employed as the Assistant to the City Manager and the Finance Analyst. Prior to her tenure in West Linn, she served as a budget analyst for the Virginia Department of Education; as a graduate assistant with the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and as a communications consultant with Pacific Public Affairs.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Politics from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon; and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Made Possible by Our Corporate Partners

Registration Information / Contact Us

Contact Information

For registration and general assistance contact:

Lee Vang
Government Technology
Phone: (916) 932-0817
E-mail: lvang@govtech.com