What is Smart City Works?
Smart City Works was created to galvanize innovation and enable commercialization uniquely focused on the best ideas in support of civil infrastructure (the “built environment”) and improving livability in cities. Through the creation of a new business accelerator in this space and the first business “actuator”. Specifically, Smart City Works will:
1. Identify and speed commercialization of the most promising ideas and companies working in and in support of designing, building, operating, and maintaining civil infrastructure; 2. Create a new vehicle for innovation for early stage and mature infrastructure enterprises to innovate more efficiently and effectively, and to change the paradigm around infrastructure innovation; 3. Provide a forum for thought leadership and elevate the dialogue around the state of global infrastructure and the need for innovation in civil infrastructure.
To accomplish this, Smart City Works will:
• Establish and provide an environment to foster innovation and enable companies to grow from an idea to a dynamic business.
• Identify and select two cohorts annually with 10-15 promising companies in each cohort.
• Deliver intensive education, mentorship, technical support, and networking opportunities with entrepreneurs and experienced infrastructure professionals during a four-month residency period.
• Facilitate pilot projects through unique leading-edge technology and other test beds.
• Provide opportunities to raise equity, as well as to meet and interact with potential customers.
• Build, maintain, and engage a network of world leaders in planning, design, architecture, engineering, construction, and city management, finance, and research and technology.
At the end of each cycle, Smart City Works will host a Demo Day, where all startups and participants will have an opportunity to present their companies to a carefully selected, invite-only audience.
Much More Than a Traditional Accelerator
A business actuator is built upon, but goes well beyond traditional business acceleration, through a number of enhancements to the business accelerator model.
First, through a proprietary Demand Signal Analysis, we select only the best companies with potential to provide technically feasible, high-impact solutions that cities demand.
Second, we put in place an unmatched network of technical resources including a broad spectrum of industry expertise, technical tools, and professional support that will help companies overcome technical hurdles, advance prototypes, leverage cross-industry knowledge, and surmount technological gaps which can be fatal to many organizations.
Third, we foster opportunities, both during and after the in-residence program, and via leading-edge testbeds and a wide range of city partnerships, to participate in pilots and critical proof-of-concept demonstration projects, and, ultimately link directly back to the public and commercial marketplace that is the focal point of our initial demand signal analysis.
These enhancements to the business accelerator model provide substantial additional support across the full innovation life-cycle to more rapidly and effectively move smart solutions to their intended end-users
The Value of a Vertically-Focused Business Actuator
The establishment of a new type of business accelerator—a business actuator—creates a unique opportunity to rethink infrastructure and reinvent it. By leveraging new technologies and an enhanced model for commercialization, we can significantly improve and revitalize the well-being, sustainability, resiliency, and livability of cities. In particular, there is significant value to a vast eco-system of currently dis-integrated start-up companies, mature enterprises, research and financial institutions, universities, and governments who have aligned missions and interests, collaborating on designing, building, and operating urban infrastructure smarter. They include:
• Fostering a New Avenue for Innovation
• Providing Intensive Business Acceleration for Emerging Companies
• Solving Technical Challenges via Unique Technical Resources
• Shortening the Pathway from City Needs to City Solutions