TechConnect Announces 9th Annual Smart Cities Startup Challenge Winners, Pitch Participants

TechConnect announced winners of the ninth annual Smart Cities Startup Challenge. The challenge highlights the nation’s most promising innovations which align with funding priorities from the US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the US Department of Transportation Smart Cities Challenge, and the National Defense Strategy.

“Each year, innovation evolves and the priorities for our municipal, defense, and funding partners change; but one thing always remains: the caliber of startups we see paints a very positive picture for our future society,” said¬†Jennifer Rocha, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, TechConnect. “We are honored to recognize and showcase the winners of this Challenge and to shine a light on the early-stage innovation solving some of our nation’s most pressing crises.”

Winners of the Challenge will pitch at Smart Cities Connect on April 5-6, 2022, as well as receive a free one-year membership to the Resilient Infrastructure + Secure Energy (RISE) Consortium™. RISE members enjoy faster contracting speed, access to more opportunities, market expansion into the Department of Defense, and access to both DoD and industry network stakeholders.

Subject areas of interest to judges fell into five primary categories: community engagement, smart mobility, urban infrastructure, urban operations, and digital transformation. More than 170 startups applied from which 45 earned the opportunity to pitch and connect with potential funders and partners on-site. 

Panel judges range in expertise spanning municipal leadership in seven states, six defense and government components, three investment firms, and six corporations. The breadth of reviewers further indicates how many technology areas and applications smart city innovators touch and their myriad applications.

For more information about this Challenge, visit To attend the pitch sessions and meet the winners in April, visit