Smart City Startups Help Cities Communicate about COVID-19

In a crisis, it becomes very clear who shows up to help versus who shows up to help themselves. Even though startups are known for having fewer resources, those in the smart city community are rallying what they have to provide support to government leaders in the wake of COVID-19.

During a webinar hosted by Marketplace.City on March 20, several young companies offered their solutions to city leaders. Three in particular are designed to facilitate communication with residents and citizens. In the current environment where misinformation can be deadly and information is changing rapidly, the ability to provide concise, accurate and easy-to understand information is critical.

Here’s How Startups Are Helping Cities Community More Effectively About COVID-19:

Citibot Offers SMS Push Notifications FREE for 60 days
City staff can provide two-way SMS notifications (i.e. text messages) to residents to keep them informed with the most up-to-date information. This is especially helpful for low-income residents who rely on mobile devices for communication. Citibot has pledged to offer this service for free for 60 days.

Zencity Helps Craft the Right Messages
Zencity’s platform monitors and aggregates online discourse in real-time. The platform provides insight on what people are saying on specific topics from a range of social and local media channels. This allows city leaders to quickly respond to residents’ real concerns around COVID-19 without guessing about what is important to them. Geolocation data pinpoints discourse according to specific neighborhoods, so that localized resources and outreach can be targeted and efficiently allocated.

Xaqt COVID-19 Call Center Automation
Xaqt’s Crisis Response team offers a set of AI based tools and bots that can automate and scale communications across any digital touchpoint. Starting with the call center, Xaqt’s Coronavirus IVR-as-a-Service automates more common questions from callers, thus freeing-up agents and teams to handle more urgent needs.

A full list of companies providing support are included on the COVID-19 Readiness Kit listed on the website. simplifies the process of finding, validating, and implementing new technology at the city level, so that government can better improve the lives of their communities with smart solutions. Products are developed with partner cities to meet their most pressing needs.