New “Innovation Ecosystem” Program at the National League of Cities Supports Local Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and STEM Pathways

June 19, 2018 - (3 min read)

WASHINGTON & MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA — June 19, 2018 — Today the National League of Cities (NLC) announced a new program, City Innovation Ecosystems, dedicated to helping cities thrive in the modern economy. The program marks a major new push by NLC to support regional entrepreneurship, innovation and STEM pathways in a time when too few cities are fully participating in the high-tech, global economy.

In partnership with and support from Schmidt Futures, the initiative will challenge city leaders to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and STEM education by partnering with businesses, colleges and universities, foundations, entrepreneurs, school districts and community-based organizations to commit to solutions. Within the initiative’s first year, NLC will bring together a new cohort of cities that have made specific commitments to strengthen their regional innovation ecosystems. These commitments will include actions to accelerate the spread of innovation and technology, improve the climate for entrepreneurship and give more young people exposure and experience with STEM learning.

“Cities are the lifeblood of American ingenuity. They provide the necessary opportunities for inventors, scientists, educators and entrepreneurs to come together and solve our most pressing challenges,” said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities (NLC). “This new partnership with Schmidt Futures underscores NLC’s commitment to helping all cities — from small towns to major metropolitan areas — adapt and succeed in a time when technology is re-writing the rules of work, urban life and global competition.”

NLC will also help cities create the next generation of innovators by supporting two communities of practice of senior city staff who are working to improve local government through technology and expand STEM learning opportunities for young people. These groups will focus on city-wide innovation initiatives, advancing STEM, maker-centered learning, technology and innovation through afterschool and summer learning, K-12 education and postsecondary and workforce development policies and programs.

“Schmidt Futures is delighted to support the National League of Cities and its new initiative to support entrepreneurship and innovation at the local level.” said Tom Kalil, chief innovation officer of Schmidt Futures. “Mayors and other civic leaders can increase opportunities for entrepreneurs in communities across the United States — fueling innovation, economic growth and the creation of high-wage jobs.”

NLC invites mayors and other local leaders who are working in partnership with businesses, foundations, colleges and universities, school districts and community-based organizations to strengthen entrepreneurship, innovation and STEM learning in your city to be part of this exciting initiative.

Contact Scott Andes, program director, City Innovation Ecosystems, to describe your city’s strategy, program, idea and partnership at or with further questions. NLC will compile the best ideas and will feature the most innovative and bold commitments at City Summit in Los Angeles, California, November 7-10.

About Schmidt Futures
Schmidt Futures works to advance society through technology, inspire breakthroughs in scientific knowledge, and promote shared prosperity. As a venture facility for public benefit, Schmidt Futures drives discovery through investment in people, platforms, and partnerships. The initiative aims to nurture the best ideas and most promising leaders from across disciplines. Schmidt Futures is committed to serving society in new ways with working methods that are modern, fast, lean, and professional. Learn more at


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.