funding

10 Steps: Taking an Innovation for a City from Idea to Deployment

After a first round of consultation of experts and city professionals, Agile Cities is launching the first draft of its 10 stage process to take innovative ideas to full implementation in cities.

You can comment on the 10 Steps and the Draft text here.

One of the objectives of the Agile Cities initiative is to provide more reliable communication in the marketplace around innovative solutions that can transform communities.

A key element of this is to begin to establish a process to track the stages which a typical innovation passes through from Idea to Deployment. After an initial consultation process, we have edited a 10 Step Process which is now open for comment in an iterated editorial process.

You can add ideas by going directly to the open text document here or by commenting on this post.

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON AGILECITIES.ORG

Upcoming Summit on Service Innovation in Cities

amiando header 3 R7 2011-7-26Living Labs’ staff recently attended Oracle’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.  We wrote about five main takeaways:

  1. Politicians are talking the talk but not walking the walk – requests for technologies’ sustainability services are not backed up with funding opportunities
  2. Cities need to embrace the idea of piloting, evaluation, learning, and buying (we have seen this strategy succeed in the private sector, particularly among technology companies, and in select cities)
  3. Cities can more effectively advocate for innovative solutions if a coalition of citizens understand the benefits of change
  4. Technology offers the opportunity not only to cut costs but also to add value
  5. Cities need to adopt the philosophy that service cuts are not the only way to deal with recessionary budget issues

One of the ways in which Living Labs Global is promoting these ideas is through our Summit on Service Innovation in Cities, to be held November 23 – 24, 2011.  At the Summit, cities, companies, and experts will come together to address the need for the diffusion of innovations into cities along three main themes: smart urban lighting; e-health and smart living; and wellbeing and the role of business innovation, new financing, and social entrepreneurship.

Make sure to keep an eye on our blog in the meantime as we will be dedicating several posts to these themes.

-Terra Curtis

 

Upcoming Summit on Service Innovation in Cities

amiando header 3 R7 2011-7-26Living Labs’ staff recently attended Oracle’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.  We wrote about five main takeaways:

  1. Politicians are talking the talk but not walking the walk – requests for technologies’ sustainability services are not backed up with funding opportunities
  2. Cities need to embrace the idea of piloting, evaluation, learning, and buying (we have seen this strategy succeed in the private sector, particularly among technology companies, and in select cities)
  3. Cities can more effectively advocate for innovative solutions if a coalition of citizens understand the benefits of change
  4. Technology offers the opportunity not only to cut costs but also to add value
  5. Cities need to adopt the philosophy that service cuts are not the only way to deal with recessionary budget issues

One of the ways in which Living Labs Global is promoting these ideas is through our Summit on Service Innovation in Cities, to be held November 23 – 24, 2011.  At the Summit, cities, companies, and experts will come together to address the need for the diffusion of innovations into cities along three main themes: smart urban lighting; e-health and smart living; and wellbeing and the role of business innovation, new financing, and social entrepreneurship.

Make sure to keep an eye on our blog in the meantime as we will be dedicating several posts to these themes.

-Terra Curtis

 

Getaround Gets It: $3.4 million in Funding

getaround logoGetaround, the peer-to-peer car-sharing service we profiled here back in May, has achieved another step towards legitimacy: financial backing from several investors including the founders of Netflix, Powerset, and WordPress. According to a recent article on TechCrunch, a technology media company that profiles startups, new internet products, and breaking tech news, initial investor attention was garnered after Getaround was awarded the “hottest next generation startup” at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in New York this year.

But the award wasn’t the only thing: Getaround just seems to make financial sense.  By taking a 40% transaction fee for each rental, Getaround is able to cover roadside assistance, insurance and support.  And, for the individual, top renters are grossing $6,000-$10,000 per year, with the average monthly revenue per car at $340.  For those renting, some cars go for up to $75 per hour (a Tesla Roadster), but can be as cheap as $5-$6 per hour (even for a Nissan Xterra).  The daily rates are comparable to traditional rental cars and without the hassle of getting to a rental car lot and returning the car within their service hours.

This round of funding provides yet another vote of confidence in the peer-to-peer rental market.  Getaround joins RelayRides (a competitor), AirBnb, and HomeAway as peer-to-peer services who have recently received hefty financial backing.

- Terra Curtis

 

Corporate Cities

Courtesy of Yumsugar.comWe are all familiar with the budget troubles facing cities today.  School closures, transit cuts, and staff layoffs are all par for the course.  The housing bubble burst sending the economy into a tailspin; people earned (and spent) less and cities were left without much needed tax revenue. Fortunately, some companies have found this situation to be the perfect time to expand their brand.  How?  By providing the necessary funding, and vetting process, for proposed solutions to issues facing communities, and promoting their own name in the process. Pepsi’s Refresh Project teamed up with GOOD Magazine to publicize the ideas it is receiving.  The Refresh Project gives away US$1.3 million every month for what it calls “great ideas.”  These range from bikes for a hundred tykes to theater rejuvenation to wishes-come-true for veterans.

IBM has a similar initiative going on that you may have seen advertised recently: Smarter Cities.  It is, of course, more focused on cities as a whole, rather than piecemeal ideas like the Refresh Project.  IBM is working together with cities like Stockholm, Brisbane, Dublin, and Singapore on smarter transportation, and other cities on topics including smarter policing and emergency response, power and water management, and governance.  They’re also collecting ideas from the general public through their Tumblr blog. See their promotional video here.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZT-1eEsZqo&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xd0d0d0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

Lastly, KFC (of all companies) has been filling potholes for free in Louisville, Kentucky.  They stamp each filled hole with the stenciled words “Re-Freshed by KFC.”  Apparently, they’re campaigning to get a similar deal in at least 4 other cities.

What do you think of the corporatizing of our city infrastructure and services?

-Terra Curtis