However, it is important to stress that many urban challenges can be met completely by the private sector.
The fact that a municipality assumes responsibility over a domain, does not mean that in all cases, it will be the actual customer of a company providing solutions in the specific space.
Startups selling directly to consumers, building smart homes for senior citizens for example, helping solve loneliness related issues, and improve their quality of life in general, are helping make cities more inclusive, thus smarter.
The city can facilitate with data, connectivity to emergency services and oversight, but does not need to actively act as the paying customer customer.
Another example is of city to vehicle communications, better known as V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure), which require the city to buy technology to place on its infrastructure, but also requires the car manufacturers to take care of their end of the deal.
The automotive industry is now looking for solutions to figure out how their vehicles will be immersed in the future urban environment, how they can provide services to their users or municipalities, and to explore new revenue streams in an economy that will probably reshape itself in the upcoming years.
Companies dealing with lighting, grid and other utilities, IoT, cybersecurity, storage, communications and other verticals, all relevant to the urban environment, are all scouting for innovative solutions in different aspects of their businesses.
Needless to say, partnering as a sub-contractor with a corporate already working with the municipality, also shortens time to market, as the startup can follow a piggybacking go-to-market strategy.
So next time you are trying to figure out whether your venture is smart city related, and your first thought is: “Nah, I don’t sell to municipalities”, think about your customers’ customers, and all other corporates and agencies operating around cities, and give us a call. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]