Hello SmartCities Startup Aficionados:
With the end of the year approaching, we thought it would be a good time to take a moment to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and provide a glimpse into some exciting thing to come. 2017 was a great year for SmartAustin and we appreciate all of your support. Some key highlights for the year included:
- The First Annual Smart Cities Startup Challenge, where native Austin company Smarter Sorting took home the top prize from over 80 competitors.
- Follow-up case study on Smarter Sorting’s success in working with the City of Austin and Austin Resource Recovery
- Focusing on Austin’s Startup Access program and Austin’s PR/Marketing strategy for the Smart Cities space, plus a Smart Cities Strategic Roadmap consultation/planning session with top startup leaders and Austin Chief Innovation Officer Kerry O’Connor
- A series of blog posts, focusing on infrastructure-related startups, international players in the Austin scene, and contributions by City officials.
Our more recent work has been a bit more behind-the-scenes. While we’ve continued our series on international startups with connections to Austin (a poston Qowisio, a French IoT; a post about the Vienna-based eScooter company, goUrban), a greater share of our work has focused on supporting startups interested in getting plugged into City of Austin pilots and/or gaining necessary approval for new business concepts. We can’t talk in detail about these projects just yet, but we will say that our efforts have involved scooters and drones, energy and transportation, and large corporate partners in the technology space. Relevant to all of this: Austin’s ongoing efforts to simplify its partnership activity with startups, as detailed on our blog.
As we look ahead to 2018, please keep an eye out for:
- Continued progress with the Austin’s Startup Access Program and other startup-related pilots
- A blog series on mobility from our first SmartAustin Fellow, John Kennedy. John is a mobility expert who has held leadership positions in the US government as well as in the Austin mobility space. We expect to work with him on a number of projects and, potentially, to build on our Fellows program (accepting nominations).
- The innovative [Re]Verse Pitch Competition, run by Austin Resource Recovery (SmartAustin is serving as a promotional partner.) Looking to start the next big social enterprise? [Re]Verse Pitch is awarding $20,00 to entrepreneurs with the winning idea that turns raw materials into a new venture. Learn more and RSVP here. Also, check out the list of materials suppliers. We think you’ll get a kick out of it:
- Balfour Beatty US: Concrete anchor straps
- Gold Rush Vinyl: Vinyl record defects and trimmings
- JOSCO Products: Denim and cotton pant tops
- Quality Seafood Market: Oyster shells
- Still Austin Whiskey Co.: Distiller’s spent grain
- Stitch Texas: Fabric scraps
- Texas Reds & Whites Tasting Room: Wine bottles
- University of Texas Resource Recovery: Pressboard office furniture
We wish you a smooth end to the year, a Happy Holidays, and a wonderful 2018. As always, we welcome your feedback and engagement. And, we look forward to seeing all of you soon!
Barak and Jonathan