The Challenge: First-time entrepreneurs often arrive at Long Beach City Hall without accurate information on the necessary steps needed to lawfully start a business and leave frustrated when they cannot submit an application because they do not have their paperwork in order.  In 2014, the City Permit Center served 52,000 customers and received over 39,000 phone calls on the Permit Center Held desk line.  Long Beach wants to streamline business assistance in order to maintain the high-level quality service for more businesses in a timely way.  How can the city support entrepreneurs starting a business for the first time by identifying their needs, responding to them effectively and proactively communicating the available assistance that Long Beach has to offer?

The Opportunity: The City of Long Beach is currently exploring how the City can make it easier for first-time entrepreneurs to launch, do business, and grow in Long Beach. The City of Long Beach wants to understand the types of goods and services that would enable the City to assist first-time entrepreneurs more effectively. The Request for Information (RFI) has been issued to obtain basic knowledge from organizations that provide such solutions. Responses to this RFI will inform a future Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be issued at the conclusion of the research phase.

Who can participate: The opportunity is open to anyone with a strategy, solution or idea on how Long Beach can make it easier for first-time entrepreneurs to launch, do business, and grow in Long Beach. This can range from social entrepreneurs, engineers, innovation consultants, artists, city officials, software developers, to general innovation and technology enthusiasts working locally or internationally.


  • Read the challenge statement here
  • Register with Planet Bids here
  • Review the Request for Information (RFI) located on Planet Bids
  • Prepare and write down your answers  
  • Submit your answers electronically as a PDF document via the Long Beach Planet Bids Portal here


How do I register with Planet Bids for free?
To register with Planet Bids for free, please connect via the Long Beach Portal using this link: 

Can I participate in the challenge if I have an international company?
Yes.  Long Beach encourages international participation in the challenge. If you are an international company and do not have a US affiliate, when prompted to provide your IRS Reporting Name, input your company’s name.  Then, when prompted to provide an FEI/Tax ID number, input the last nine digits of your company’s phone number. 

What should I include in my submission?
Your submission should include responses to the 7 questions outlined in the Request for Information. Any additional information that is pertinent to the challenge can also be included in your submission.

Can I talk to someone to find out more?
For questions regarding this RFI, submit all inquiries via email to Philippa Parry at and carbon copy (cc) Heidi Wiersma at

Questions must be submitted by Monday, February 22nd, 2016 at 5:00 pm Pacific Time, in order to be guaranteed a response before the RFI submission due date.

Long Beach

The City of Long Beach, California covers approximately 52 square miles on the southern coast of Los Angeles County. Long Beach has a population of 462,257, making the City the second largest city in Los Angeles County and the seventh largest city in the State. Long Beach is home to many valuable assets including the second busiest sea port in the nation; notable tourist attractions such as The Aquarium of the Pacific and the Queen Mary; remarkable education educations such as California State University Long Beach, Long Beach City College, and Long Beach Unified School District. The City boasts seven miles of coast line as well as 164 parks.



Citymart transforms the way cities solve problems, connecting them with new ideas through open challenges to entrepreneurs and citizens. Our method has helped more than 50 cities around the world from San Francisco to London and Barcelona to Rio de Janeiro find proven solutions. Citymart partners with cities to rethink their spending habits so they focus on what problems they need to solve instead of what things they want to buy.