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Why entrepreneurs should care about cities

It becomes harder when you are an early stage startup. Much harder.

It gets even near impossible when you are trying to sell to cities. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]

The cycles are long (sometimes even longer than normal enterprise sales), the bureaucracy can get ridiculous at times, and the requirements seem to be unrealistic.

Governmental procurement processes were not designed to source innovation, but rather to find solutions while minimising risk and protecting tax payers’ money.

If you are an entrepreneur targeting cities, with an innovative urban technology, this reading has been somewhat depressing so far. So why bother?

All indicators show that we are moving quickly towards an IoT world, with almost 30 billion connected devices, and where machine to machine communication represent more than half the global connections by 2022!

These IoT devices will be serving transportation and mobility, security, education, infrastructure, energy and other utilities.

Naturally, cities will be responsible for a huge chunk of these devices, the connectivity between them, their security, and the storage and processing of the data that they produce.

The big corporates, telcos, cloud computing, storage, processing, device manufactures and others have realised this potential, and are going after municipal accounts. Entrepreneurs who do not wish to be left behind and miss this train, need to get on board as soon as possible.

So how does this bottom line correspond with the aforementioned challenges of selling to cities?

Some governments and municipalities are putting new mechanisms in place to figure out the best way to source innovative solutions from young startups.

The city of Tel Aviv, for instance, has established several vehicles for startups to explore opportunities together with the city, in a much smoother and faster process.

CityZone, of course, is one of them, but you will also find programs such as The Library (focusing on very early stage and a specific emphasis on circular economy), The Platform (focusing on impact ventures), as well as the startup committee, meeting regularly with entrepreneurs to see how they can connect to different stakeholders within the municipality, and figure out what kind of data points are relevant to be released to the city’s open data platform.

Similar approaches are popping up in different parts of the world, from NYC to Singapore, so it seems that this is an amazing timing to look at cities as a potential market for your startup. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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