AcceliCITY Awards Paid Pilot Projects to Smart City Startups
BOSTON: In collaboration with the City of Mount Pearl, Canada and New Bedford, Massachusetts, Leading Cities leveraged its global network to identify hundreds of smart city startups from 43 countries to compete for paid pilot projects in both cities. The selected areas of focus were Smart Water in Mount Pearl and Smart Mobility in New Bedford.
From the more than 500 companies that began the process, 13 Finalists were selected to participate in the week-long, intensive Smart City Boot Camp that culminated with an awards ceremony during the AcceliCITY Pitch Night. The selection of winners for each Smart Challenge Track and the overall AcceliCITY Champion was very close.
The City of Mount Pearl, the sponsor of the Smart Water Challenge, selected Voda.ai to implement a paid pilot project in the city starting the beginning of the new year. Voda.ai is a Massachusetts based firm using artificial intelligence to predict water pipe failures for municipalities and water utilities. The city of New Bedford sponsored the Smart Mobility Track to identify opportunities to relieve congestion in the downtown area. Like the Mount Pearl, New Bedford selected its winner after a thorough evaluation process by the city and global experts. HAH Parking of Charleston, South Carolina was chosen to implement a pilot of its innovative use of private, unused parking spaces, like office building parking lots after hours and on weekends, to provide more options for downtown visitors.
Just this year, cities around the United States and globally have experienced security threats—the most notable being Atlanta and Baltimore who each suffered ransomware attacks that were crippling to the municipal government. As such, one company stood out among the 13 AcceliCITY Finalists and represents the best of the best. The 2019 AcceliCITY Champion is Blacksands, which provides simple, secure, scalable point-to-point encrypted connections to high value assets, securing cities in minutes not months. Recognizing that a smart city must be built on a foundation of security, Blacksands provides a foundational service to all cities everywhere.
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 fueling the evolution of our cities. Our AcceliCITY program delivers innovative, pre-vetted solutions to cities, while giving smart city startups what they need most—paying customers. The AcceliCITY program reduces the cost and risk of government innovation.”
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.
“We are working hard to become the smartest little city in Canada, and partners like Leading Cities are helping us achieve that vision through programs like AcceliCITY,” said the City of Mount Pearl Mayor, Dave Aker. “Technology and innovation know no borders, which was proven last week at the AcceliCITY bootcamp, where we selected a Boston-based company, Voda.ai, to work on a pilot project aimed at proactively detecting the probability of leaks in our underground infrastructure, through machine learning and artificial intelligence. This pilot project has the potential to not only save us money but help us better plan for the future.”
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 users and provides the proper channels and know-how to deploy in cities.