As published by Smart & Resilient Cities
Leading Cities, a global network for Smart City growth and collaboration, has launched a global Smart City startup competition that provides potential capital from a network of investors as well as the tools and knowledge of how to do business with cities. The goal of the program is to facilitate sustainable growth, resiliency and quality-of-life improvements for cities around the world by addressing the critical needs of Smart City startups, which are developing the innovative solutions to city challenges in the 21st century.
At the core, AcceliCITY leverages the Leading Cities network of forward thinkers in the public, private, academic and non-profit sectors. The program will lower the cost of innovation for startups as well as cities and corporations by streamlining the innovation and sales cycles for Smart City solutions. With growing operations in ten countries and an international network of mentors, investors, and partners with ready access to decision-makers in city governments, Leading Cities’ AcceliCITY program can connect startup’s smart solutions directly with business users and provide the proper channels and know-how to deploy in cities.
After evaluating the applications, semifinalists will be selected to participate in a month-long virtual mentoring program. Then, finalists will be selected to participate in the AcceliCITY boot camp in the fall of 2018 in Boston—one of the world’s most vibrant startup ecosystems. These organizations will be chosen for their unique profiles and the potential they represent. Participating enterprises will receive support from local mentors and globally recognized Smart City experts. The boot camp in Boston provides exposure to—and feedback from—investors, as well as a demo day for potential pilot projects with local municipalities. Winners will be showcased at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona, Spain—the world’s largest Smart City event with more than 600 participating cities.
In partnership with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the AcceliCITY competition will have a defined clean energy application track that provides qualified applicants the opportunity to secure fully funded incubation space in Massachusetts. The Clean Energy Track will focus on advanced technologies that support the integration of renewable energy or significantly reduce the use of energy from non-renewable sources, including, but not limited to, microgrid, smart meter, demand response, energy storage or other technologies that provide Smart City solutions to clean energy or energy efficiency challenges.
According to Michael Lake, founder and CEO of Leading Cities, the new AcceliCITY model is unmatched in terms of need and potential reward. “Cities have an amazing opportunity to capitalize on a technological revolution but are finding it a challenge to identify and properly vet these new technologies. AcceliCITY provides a common ground for growth by matching entrepreneurs with expert mentors, understanding best practices for doing business with governments, and gaining access to investment funding.”
Applications are available here.
Graeme Mills is a Fellow at Leading Cities.