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Virginia launches smart city accelerator

Smart City Works claims to be the world’s first business accelerator focused exclusively on infrastructure and the built environment

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The programme will drive innovation across Virginia and the DC region
The programme will drive innovation across Virginia and the DC region

Virginia’s Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced the launch of the Smart City Works Infrastructure Actuator, a first-of-its-kind business accelerator. Its aim is to grow early-stage companies that help make cities smarter, more livable and more resilient.

 

This programme, operated in conjunction with the Centre for Innovative Technology, is the first in a series of Commonwealth initiatives that will drive innovation in infrastructure while simultaneously fostering economic development across Virginia and the DC-Metropolitan region.

 

“This first-in-the-nation business accelerator affirms Virginia’s role as a leader in creating livable, resilient communities,” said Governor McAuliffe. “It will harness our region’s valuable assets and will attract technology companies from across the globe to the Commonwealth.

 

“The Actuator will allow us to bring cutting-edge technology to market, deploying these innovations in smart communities across Virginia and making us a national model for smart cities.”

 

Smart City Works claims to be the nation’s first business accelerator focused exclusively on technologies and applications for improving the built environment. “Cities across the globe are looking for innovative solutions to address rising social and civic challenges that they face,” said David Heyman, co-founder and partner of Smart City Works.

 

“We are only going to solve these challenges if we unlock the power of innovation in infrastructure and transform the way we design, build, and operate cities.”

 

A call for innovation was issued in February 2017 that sought companies that specialised in one of three high-demand sectors: transportation, construction techniques, and public safety/resilience. The request spawned a competitive selection process that brought submissions from startups and entrepreneurs located across the world.

 

At the launch event at the Smart City Works flagship location in Herndon, Governor McAuliffe formally cut the ribbon and announced the inaugural set of companies in the Spring 2017 cohort. The six companies selected come from a variety of locations:

 

Greater Places, Arlington, Virginia

UnomicEdge, Arlington, Virginia

Integrated Health Solutions, Washington, DC

Infraccess, New York, New York

Capital Construction Solutions, Chicago, Illinois

PlanIT Impact, Kansas City, Missouri

 

The Smart City Works programme consists of an intense 90-day business boot-camp in which the start-ups are mentored in all aspects of creating a sustainable and successful business, with a focus on identifying pilot opportunities, test-beds, and channels to market.

 

Smart City Works brings together subject-matter experts, industry leaders, and investors – who each play a critical role in how the infrastructure marketplace operates – to create an ecosystem to launch, build, and grow successful start-ups.

 

The Spring programme concludes on June 28, 2017 with a Demo Day where companies will have the opportunity to pitch and demo their technology to an audience of external mentors, investors, and stakeholders.

 

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