SmartAustin held its first meetup last week and we left energized by new opportunities to support Austin’s emerging SmartCities startups ecosystem.
Specifically, here’s what got us psyched:
· An inspiring talk by Christine Primmer about SJF Ventures. As an Austin native, Christine brought great perspective about how the growth and unique culture of Austin make it such an ideal place for SmartCities startups. We appreciated learning more about the SJF portfolio and how they are making an impact in creating a healthier, smarter and cleaner future through their investments. Christine finished up her talk by posing the 'key SmartCities question’ for Austin: “How do we leverage new technologies and businesses to help Austin grow while maintaining its stellar quality of life?”
· Jay Boisseau’s overview of Austin CityUP held out a specific opportunity and challenge: “How do we match up the capabilities of startups with the Austin civic priorities that CityUP has identified? How do we identify the funding to initiate pilots focused on these opportunities?” Austin CityUP has just launched new committees focused on project and investment opportunities for transportation, housing, education, and communications. The work of these committees will focus on specific initiatives public officials have identified for high priority.
· Attendance! We were very happy to meet, or reunite with, friends from startups such as Plum, Aiqueous, and Wigwag; public sector supporters such as city data architects, members of the Center for Transportation Research, and the Honorary Consul of France in Austin; and Austin startup supporters such as Austin Technology Incubator and Realization Ventures.
· Sign-ups! SmartAustin made some new connections that should support our next round of initiatives: A SmartCities pitch competition slated for next summer and our ongoing work to define and operationalize SmartCities pilot programs in Austin. As a reminder, here’s a screenshot of our four ongoing initiatives.
We look forward to being in touch soon. Expect new blog updates in the coming weeks as well as more information about our next meetup.
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