We are a catalyst for innovation.
We provide governments, organizations, and communities, technology innovation programs, and training to solve urban challenges and improve how we live and work in cities.
Innovation Challenges solicit ideas from the private sector to improve government services, programs or infrastructure through technology innovation. An Smart City Works Innovation Challenge program provides a novel way for local governments to identify and test or even pilot cutting-edge technology solutions in priority areas, but without the intensive and often cumbersome challenges of a full procurement. It is, in effect, a less risky and less costly way of getting smart and “testing the waters”.
Beginning with pitch competitions, companies are invited and selected to pitch their solutions to a panel of judges on a specific innovation topic (e.g., “Post-COVID Economic Recovery”). This may be followed by demonstration projects for pitch-contest winners, and even longer-term pilot projects for the most promising technologies. To incentivize private-sector participation, the program offers prize money for pitch-contest winners, and/ or potentially technology demonstration or pilot project opportunities, as well.
Business Accelerator Programs
Smart City Works’ 90‐day intensive business accelerator program is designed to propel cohort companies into the marketplace endowed with proven products and equipped with the skills to grow and compete for market share and funding. The program has three key elements:
First, cohort companies participate in group classroom training focused on running and scaling high‐impact businesses. To further support development of a hightech/ entrepreneur workforce, a number of these sessions will also be made available to local students, entrepreneurs and executives.
Second, each cohort company participates in a one‐on‐one mentorship program. It is this activity where each business is analyzed, company gaps are identified, and company‐specific growth and scaling programs are designed to meet the unique needs of each organization. Through this process, personalized training and mentoring are focused on how to best grow and scale their business.
Third, cohort companies are offered a number of perks and benefits to support business operations and extend their operating runway, to include, for example, up to 12months rent‐free office space for graduates, other credits and technical support from our partners.
Pilot programs and testbed opportunities to validate and help commercialize new smart city technologies
To achieve successful market entry, companies need to validate the viability of their products. Living Labs are community‐based test beds, established to demonstrate, evaluate and validate next‐generation technologies and services. They provide a venue to safely tackle real‐world problems; develop new capabilities; de‐risk investments; enhance training capabilities; and better understand how people will use, benefit from, and be affected by new technologies and services.