“I only stole with my eyes. That is, if I see something that will work on my athletes, I will try it...” - Ans Botha, coach of 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk to The Washington Post. Ans is 74.

State-sponsored doping. Big data for talent tracking. KT Tape and cupping. Olympic athletes are constantly in search of performance advantages for their teams. But, as Ans points out, there’s also a good amount of sleuthing and testing.

The pro-sports world long ago became comfortable going beyond “stealing with their eyes.” Neymar was hired away from Brazil by a massive contract. He had to negotiate time off with his new bosses in Barcelona to win for his country at the Olympics!

Recent large deals like Dollar Shave Club and Jet signal a similar shift in the corporate world. Fortune’s Dan Primack has been covering the shifting relationships between non-tech corporates and tech startups. Dave McClure recently dubbed this the Unicorn Hedge.

It’s M&A vs R&D.

[Startup Intro] OpenEE is using Blockchain and open source software to enable pay-for-performance energy projects. Here’s how.

[Startup Intro] Ori makes robotic furniture to transform small spaces into big spaces. Take a look.

[Insights] VCs Should Avoid Cleantech. This is the conclusion of some very well credentialed folks at MIT because, historically, cleantech VC investments have performed very poorly. As we worked on responses to many of the points, emphasizing how much cleantech has changed in the last decade, we found Rob Day’s series of tweets that perfectly capture the problems with this research.

[Insights] VC and the Economy. Looking at the impact of VC-backed companies on the US economy, the focus is on the economic impact, but we believe more VC is going to be associated with public benefits, too. That’s what makes the cleantech VC debate above even more important. Here is the research from the Stanford Business School.

[Insights] How to Keep Cities Moving. McKinsey perfectly captures the opportunity for city leaders to use emerging solutions and shifting consumer preferences to improve their communities: “By rethinking rules written for a different era, municipal authorities can make getting around more flexible, more affordable, faster, and safer.” More from McKinsey.

[Insights] Autonomous Timelines. Ford and Uber join Google, Tesla and GM in offering specific target dates to have their autonomous vehicles on the street. Also, you can join one of the greatest thinkers on the future of mobility, Anthony Townsend, on a trip to Pittsburgh to meet Uber’s new robot fleet.

[Insights] Injustice from Poor Tech. The Department of Justice identified technology’s central role in the repeated transgressions of its police officers. Specifically, the DOJ noted that the police department was simply unable to use the data it has to identify poor conduct. More from Fusion.

This reminds us of the 2014 Code for America presentation by Jenn Pahlka on “Predicting Ferguson.”

[Insights] Why are the streets always under construction? A great look at the infrastructure layer cake and the constant repairs and maintenance that most of us see a road work on city streets. From the NYTimes.

[Insights] New Residential Communities. We never tire of telling people that we learn from everyone who reads this newsletter. Co-living is a great example. Over the last few days, David Friedlander and Micah Kotch dropped some knowledge about new players in the space like Ollie and Starcity joining efforts like Common and WeLive. It’s about the best reason to consider joining us on Slack.

[Opportunity] World Economic Forum is kicking off the next phase of Shaping the Future of Urban Development and Services. At a high level the goal is to enhance collaboration between public and private organizations and our role at Urban.Us is to specifically highlight the role that tech startups can play, often through examples/cases. The process is just getting started, but we’ll be reaching out and sharing updates as we go.

[Startup Update] Ecomo unveiled their water-quality device in the spring. They had a lot of interest in a range of applications, so they’ve spent the summer exploring options for their first product. Here’s what they’ve come up with.

[Startup Update] Dash has been quietly working on a number of partnerships. They’re finally able to share one of them: they’re powering the auto insurance service offered by Rema.

[Startup Update] Radiator Labs finally received their first third-party performance evaluation, and they discussed the savings and winter rollout plans with the NY Observer.

Stonly and Shaun will be on the Playa next week. We know a few of you will be there too, so please let us know if you’d like to meet up.

- Shaun, Stonly, Anthony and Mark.

P.S. Your weather is changing. So is weather vocabulary. This is a rain bomb.

P.P.S. It’s surprising how much Burning Man still relies on generators instead of solar or wind. Cost seems to be the most frequently cited reason for skipping renewables. 

Special thanks to Urban-X by Mini and HAX, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Amazon, IBM, Chicago Booth, and Autonomy.Paris for working with us to make the Urbantech ecosystem better.

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