An unprecedented global urbanization is expected in the next few decades and it is upon us now, upon all of us, to make cities better and more accessible, to invest in them, to believe in them and to improve their integrating capacities. Undoubtedly, there is a growing number of challenges that urban dwellers have to face, but projects such as the Urban Innovation Fund seek to support start-ups that aim to ultimately alleviate or solve such challenges.
The Urban Innovation Fund does not only provide capital but also regulatory support and expertise to start-ups that come up with feasible solutions to urban challenges. The team invests in various fields such as transportation, energy, sustainability, education, health, public safety, government or housing.
The venture capital firm was launched in June 2016 and has already made a name for itself, due to investing in transformative urban technologies, as well as helping today’s small and bright start-ups turn into tomorrow’s most valued companies. Previous companies that were invested in include:
- Neighborly – access to the municipal bond market funding public projects
- The Town Kitchen – connecting lunch delivery with youth employment
- DropCountr – monitoring water usage, saving money efficiently
- Ethic – promoting sustainable investments
- Voatz – a mobile voting platform
Now, the Urban Innovation Fund recently announced that they are welcoming two new startups to its portfolio:
- Udelv – generating a new type of driverless vehicle. The company will still be operating in stealth mode until the end of this year, but it has recently grown its team to more than 30 engineers. What they promise is a true revolution in transportation, and they’re hiring!
- Visage – a hiring platform built on a crowdsourced recruitment model. It enables big companies and employers to have more access to the workforce marketplace and to engage diverse talent at scale. Visage identifies and engages with qualified candidates for various job openings, helping companies build a consistent candidate pipeline.
However small, the team making up the Urban Innovation Fund is keen on tackling the pressing urban challenges that all cities are dealing with or that they will be dealing with during the urbanization that is to come.
They are constantly looking out for transformative technologies, ideas that can shape the future of cities and create more accessible, integrating and performing communities. We have to bring the future of cities into today.
Sources: Urban Innovation Fund, Crunchbase
Photo: Urban Innovation Fund, Skift