There is an enormous global opportunity for startups to bring new technologies and solutions to cities and to help solve major civic challenges in areas, such as transportation, healthcare, energy, and emergency response. Unfortunately, an often-cumbersome bureaucratic process and stringent policies can delay or impede startups meeting and engaging with key city officials and influencers in order to gain traction and bring their innovations to market.
A new partnership between Smart Cities Connect and SmartAustin will allow startups to pitch, engage and receive feedback from cities, as well as showcase to investors and smart cities thought leaders. The 2017 Smart Cities Startup Challenge will take place in Austin at the Smart Cities Conference and Expo on June 27.
“The Smart Cities Startup Challenge brings a unique opportunity for startup companies to engage with officials from over 75 cities all over the world, as well as pitch to investors who are focused on smart cities technologies,” said Jonathan Ha, co-founder of SmartAustin. “The interaction between startups, city officials and thought leaders will provide insight for investors to see which innovations and solutions are most interesting and viable for cities to implement.”
Twenty finalists, the top ten submissions in B2B and the top ten in B2C, will each pitch for five minutes, followed by a five-minute question-and-answer session with the judging panel. In addition, each finalist will be assigned a pitch coach who will help refine and prepare them for the presentation.
“The importance of innovation to cities cannot be overstated,” said Laura Benold, managing editor of Smart Cities Connect. “The Challenge zeroes in on the most promising solutions and provides a physical space for cities and innovators to meet on issues that will move our communities forward.”
Submission to the Smart Cities Startup Challenge is free and is specifically intended for startups in the seed funding or bootstrap stage, prior to receiving a series A round of investment. If selected, there is no fee to pitch.
Learn more about the Smart Cities Start Up Challenge and apply here. Applications are due by March 17, 2017. Finalists will be chosen and notified by April 7, 2017.