Smart Cities

Recipe for success: Cities and startups must understand each others needs

At SXSW 2018, Miriam Roure, Program Director of URBAN-X, outlined three factors critical to a successful partnership between today's cities and the startups looking to do business with them.

While there are inherent challenges, the collaboration of a start-up company and an established city is not only possible, it's possible for it to meet with flourishing success, says Miriam Roure, Program Director, URBAN-X, who met TechRepublic's Teena Maddox at SXSW.

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The following is a transcript of the edited interview.

"I'm here at South by Southwest, to present and moderate a panel about startups selling to cities," Miriam Roure, Program Director, URBAN-X, told TechRepublic's Teena Maddox.

"Sascha Haselmayer from CityMart, we have Courtney Sung from Remix, and Newsha Ghaeli from Biobot Analytics. We all have a background in architecture. Design is going to be part of the conversation. But most importantly is breaking this mess around how difficult it is to be a startup that sells to cities. We'll talk about the appetite from cities to invest their time and resources in working with startups, and from investors prepared to invest in companies selling to cities given that they're longer selling cycles.

SEE: How France reinvented itself for the 21st century by wooing entrepreneurs to Paris (TechRepublic)

It's an interesting moment in history: digital technologies are coming, disrupting industries in place for centuries. This is also true for the services that cities are dealing with.

And so we've seen massive changes, but cities need to operate independently, effectively working with startups, testing technologies, and determine if they can work with them or not.

They need to structure how they work with companies, how they can accommodate the needs of startups, which means shorter selling cycles, more flexibility, if technology is in development taking into account, and just more flexibility."

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About Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including Peo...

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