The innovation office and related proposals are all intended to support local technology startups, with the potential of residual benefits for all types of businesses. The proposal would be funded through a city account of $8.2 million, mostly left over from the dissolution of the city's redevelopment agency.

Through a series of meetings with representatives from Sacramento's tech community, the mayor has settled on three spending categories for the innovation fund: investing in startups, improving operations at City Hall and creating the Office for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Ideally, projects would be funded that achieve dual goals of helping local startups and improving local government.

“I hate to use this word, but there is a nice synergy around these different pieces," mused Abhi Nemani, Johnson’s interim chief innovation officer.