In 2018, Leading Cities, a global nonprofit for Smart City growth and collaboration, launched AcceliCITY—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. In this year’s edition 50 semi-finalists were selected from more than 500 applications from 43 countries. An international panel of Smart City experts judged each semi-finalist to select the 14 finalists that will gather in Boston (Sept. 30- Oct. 4) for AcceliCITY’s Smart City Boot Camp.
After two months of web-based curriculum provided to all semi-finalists, these 14 startups have distinguished themselves among an impressive collection of semi-finalists from around the world. They will now compete for paid pilot projects, hosted by cities in the areas of Smart Mobility and Smart Water.
“Our digital transformation journey is rooted in two beliefs, that technology knows no borders and that small cities can be smart cities” said Steve Kent, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Mount Pearl. “Mount Pearl is working to be the smartest little city in Canada and this partnership with AcceliCITY propels that vision forward, giving us access to a pool of innovators that we otherwise wouldn’t connect with. We are excited to work on this process. We look forward to uncovering how technology can help solve our challenges in water quality and consumption, and more.”
In addition to competing for the opportunity to implement these pilot projects, all finalists of the AcceliCITY program will receive additional support and prizes including global visibility. The leading global smart city network “bee smart city” supports the finalists of the AcceliCITY Competition with premium services totaling nearly $100,000 to help them connect with over 940 cities and communities worldwide.
The powerful presence of AcceliCITY further strengthens Boston’s position as a global leader in Smart City innovation, a globally growing market at almost 20% a year. Boston is already being recognized by entrepreneurs innovating for social change as the best place to get funding. AcceliCITY aims to reinforce this by serving as a magnet that is attracting international startups to visit the city, experience the supportive network and learn about numerous public and private development opportunities in Massachusetts.
According to Michael Lake, founder and CEO of Leading Cities, the AcceliCITY model is unmatched in terms of need and potential reward. “Cities have an amazing opportunity to capitalize on a technological revolution. However, it can be challenging to find incentive to adopt these new technologies and successfully implement them. Our AcceliCITY program overcomes this by matching entrepreneurs with expert mentors, understanding best practices for doing business with governments, and gaining access to investment funding.”
At its core, AcceliCITY lowers the cost of innovation for startups as well as cities and corporations by streamlining the innovation and implementation cycles for Smart City solutions. Leading Cities’ AcceliCITY program connects startup’s smart solutions directly with business users and provides the proper channels and know-how to deploy in cities.