Making last-minute business cards in the parking lot before our first product pitch in 2015 💌

New Beginnings

John Edgar
Sep 9 · 3 min read

I’m writing today to share a very exciting milestone for Stae: after an incredible four years leading the company, I will be stepping aside as CEO this month, and am turning the reins over to an incredible leader, thinker, and strategist: Dan Barasch.

With Dan taking on the CEO role and overseeing the day-to-day execution of business, I can now focus on higher-level strategy for the company as Chief Strategy Officer. I am certainly not going anywhere, and am super excited to be work alongside Dan and the team to propel Stae to new heights.

I’m making this move now for two reasons. First, Stae is entering a new chapter of growth as a business, for which it needs a new leader. And second, Dan is a uniquely qualified leader to take Stae into this next phase.

Since starting the company with Eric Schoffstall in 2015, we’ve done truly amazing things. Eric built an exceptional product that allows cities to better manage their data, and his team has refined the product based on multiple city pilots we’ve conducted with City Halls across the country. We’ve attracted a brilliant team of urbanists who understand cities, product designers who know how to bring products to market, and engineers who are building a world-class platform. And this year, we anticipate an impressive number of paid contracts with public agencies, demonstrating that we’ve built something that cities truly need to make lives better for their residents.

I have always been, and remain, passionate about the vast social potential of technology, and the ability of technology to improve our cities. But I’ve long known that I am best suited for the earliest, most visionary phase of building a company, and am less suited for the second phase of growth.

I’ve been very fortunate that amazing people have been drawn to the mission of Stae. Earlier this year, I brought Dan in to help me with corporate development and structuring the next round of funding. It became apparent that Dan would be an excellent choice to serve as CEO of Stae.

Dan brings an extraordinary breadth and depth of experience to Stae, all focused on the intersection between technology, cities, and innovation. A social entrepreneur himself, he co-founded and served as Executive Director of the Lowline for nearly a decade, where he raised both the capital to develop new solar technology and the political support needed to build the world’s first underground park in New York City. Prior to building and leading the Lowline, Dan held senior sales operations and marketing roles at Google; worked within New York City government on workforce development; and has led innovative projects at UNICEF, PopTech, the 9/11 Survivors’ Fund, and the World Affairs Council.

Having taken Stae from a kernel of an idea to a viable business, I am confident that now is the right time to have Dan take the wheel. With a formidable product, a rockstar team in place, and multiple cities on pace to convert into paid contracts this year, Stae is now ready to accelerate into becoming an incredibly exciting business in the year ahead.

Thank you, Dan, for deciding to take us up on this! I have no doubt you can guide Stae into this next stage of the business.

My co-founder, Eric, and I at one of our first product demos in 2015 ✌🏼

I would like to also take this moment to thank Eric, my co-founder, for starting a business with me and for not sleeping for the past four years while we cranked it out, Julie my first COO and Renaud my second, and of course the whole team. Thanks to our investors who have been nothing but supportive and carried me many times during the building stage. I think Dan is going to do an amazing job of pushing us into the market. The best days for the company are still to come — Stae tuned! 🚀

Thank you kindly for this amazing opportunity, I feel very fortunate to have gotten to build such an important product with you all.

With love,


City as a Service

A community for civic-data wranglers, developers, and innovators: @staehere

John Edgar

Written by

child of the www, lover of the arts, traveler of the world, solver of problems, politics, sailing, startup. Building @staehere former VP, Strategy @digitalocean

City as a Service

A community for civic-data wranglers, developers, and innovators: @staehere

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade