“Impact of Internet = Extraordinary & Broad...But – in Many Ways – It’s Just Beginning”
- Mary Meeker, “2016 Internet Trends Report”

Twenty years ago, The Internet Report talked about core tech companies that were well positioned to grow with the Internet. Netscape may have disappeared, but Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple have thrived. In 2016, Amazon, Google, Baidu, and Tesla are being featured for their pioneering work on voice interfaces and self-driving cars.

Big tech companies aren’t the only companies focused on tech. As the Internet is used to re-imagine more businesses, non-tech companies are pursuing tech capabilities more aggressively. From 2011 to 2015, the value of tech acquisition by non-tech corporate buyers climbed by 2.5x. It’s not just M&A activity. Corporate VC investment has climbed 2x over the same period from 2011 to 2015.

Who are non-techs? They’re in sectors such as automotive, retail, and food, and they include firms such as GM, Ford, Avis, Whole Foods, and Monsanto. The report articulates many of the reasons for increased non-tech interest, from the accelerating growth of online retail to massive changes in mobility (which we explored in our last update).

But perhaps the biggest reason for the uptick in interest is that we’re finally rewiring businesses. Internet trend reports have focused extensively on what happens as people connect to the Internet, first via computers and, more recently, via mobile phones. Now the focus is shifting to what happens when the internet is a part of products and services. This is discussed in the final 20 pages of the report Data as a Platform (pg 194).

The Internet supports data collection and analysis on a massive scale. The result is that people and machines can rapidly use the results of these analyses to obtain everything from improved efficiency to better policies. They can deliver better products and services. This is one of the main reasons we think we’re just beginning to see the effect of the Internet on cities.

[Startup Candidate] Owlized is using VR as a time machine to help people explore the future or past of specific locations to discover real estate, climate change, or historical information. Take a look.

[Startup Candidates] Air Quality Monitoring. Sometimes, we find multiple startups working on a problem we care about. Fortunately, a few different groups are working on approaches to air-quality monitoring. We welcome your thoughts and responses to our questions.

[Partner Insights] NYC is emerging as the leading city for urbantech startups. Sander Dolder explains how the NYC EDC Urbantech program began and where the program is heading.

[Insights] The End of Lean Startups. This is a thoughtful discussion on why the next decade of opportunities will probably require more capital. We’re certainly seeing this already. More from The Information.

[Insights] Bike lanes aren’t just good for cyclists. In NYC, they’re also speeding up traffic and making pedestrians safer. This is a good example of how one city’s successes can be shared to support policy changes in other cities. Fastco explores

[Insights] Wired UK launches the series on Future Cities. Appropriately, they’re starting with Shenzhen, the Silicon Valley of Hardware. When one of the guides is wearing a Star of David and smoking a Cuban cigar, you can be sure you don’t understand a lot of things about the center of the hardware universe. (HT Dan Myers)

[Insights] Are we ready to elect robot mayors? More of today’s mayors probably grew up playing Sim City, but this game designer is using his skills to build bots to run a real city.

[News] Norway will ban the sale of gasoline vehicles by 2025. This is especially amazing when you consider that Norway is one of the largest oil exporters. More from TNW.

[Opportunity] Our friends at Tumml just launched a clean energy prize. Learn more

[Startup Update] Seamlessdocs raised $7m series B, led by Motorola Ventures. They’ve also hired Dan Tangherlini, whose extensive experience at the GSA will help Seamlessdocs build their federal business.

[Urban.Us News] We’re in NYC and DC this week at Urban X Demo Day, Urbantech Celebration with USV, Urban X, and the 1776 Challenge Cup.

Best,
Anthony, Mark, Stonly, and Shaun

P.S. In case you missed it, “Police Dance Videos” exist. 

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