Hello ,

In 1884 P. T. Barnum led 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove that it was stable.

Today, in the face of doubt about new technology, we might create a live stream of PT Barnum’s elephants. Risking life and limb on a cable supported bridge would be deserving of a Red Bull sponsorship! It’s a useful reminder of the constant need to show what is possible long after we might be comfortable with the idea.

This is why we’re hosting 100 startups for Smart City Startups and why we’ve been working on the Urbantech Radar. We want to show what is possible to citizens, city government, utilities, real estate firms, investors or anyone interested in making cities better. It also reveals some other interesting things like how many firms are selling products and services directly to citizens and how few are worried about water, waste and air.

We have a long way to go to match P.T. Barnum for spectacle, but the UrbanTech Radar is a first step to show that startups can solve problems to make cities better.

[Startup Candidate] Blocpower is building a distributed energy company by bringing together financial institutions, community organizations and engineers. Learn how Blocpower helps make money, save money and reduce energy footprints.

[Startup Candidate] Bitfinder helps you understand what you breath when you are indoors and to take simple steps to sleep better, work better and be well. Learn how Bitfinder helps us breathe easy.

[Opportunity] Civic Hall Membership - we’re excited about NYC’s new civictech space. Whether you’re working in NYC or just visiting, they have membership options for you.

Many Startup Updates :

+ Skycatch announced a partnership with one of the world’s leading construction equipment manufacturers, Komatsu. The WSJ explores the potential.

+ HandUp looks back at the stories and people they helped in 2014

+ Govtech Magazine named Seamlessdocs 1 of 5 Civictech startups to watch in 2015.

+ Rachio is now the #1 Best Seller in irrigation controllers on Amazon and just announced their EPA Water Sense certification making them eligible for rebates across the United States.

+ Valet Anywhere is featured in a TechCrunch article on the emerging battle for parking.

[Research] The DB for the smart home - We had a chance to catch up with Chun Liew recently, who is building IMDB for the smart home. He is based in Shanghai and grew up in the Netherlands, so his approach has covered the US, EU and Asia from the start.

[Insights] The Future of US Mobility - The US Department of Transport explores the trends leading to more mobility choice in the United States over the next 15 years. The main theme is more choice. They can count on some of the best help to encourage people to explore alternatives because the people who made cycling sexy are already hard at work making buses cool (thank you Denmark).

[Opportunity ] Intelligent Transportation Society of America wants to introduce mobility startups to their global community of transportation organizations. Apply here

[Research] Urban Infrastructure insights - lots of facts and figures about how much needs to be done from the Economist Intelligence Unit. 

One year ago, we began sending these updates. There were 50 of us then and now we number more than 400. Thank you for your encouragement, introductions, insights and inspiration. We hope to see lots of you in Miami soon to thank you in person. For the event, we want to prioritize everyone here, so if you’re planning to come and haven’t RSVP’d, please do so here and use the promo-code INSIDER.

- Shaun & Stonly

P.S. Need more Urban.Us? Find Us on Angel.co and Twitter.