Cities must invest in startups to solve urban problems (globo.com)
Originally posted in Portuguese, this is a translated version. Original : http://revistapegn.globo.com/Noticias/noticia/2014/05/cidades-devem-apostar-em-startups-para-resolver-problemas-urbanos.html
Cities, regardless of size, have problems. It’s a flood in the street, the lack of water
in the neighborhood, the health post without remedy, an overpriced bid. Annoyance is not lacking for public managers. A simple approach, however, can help managers to find solutions to all kinds of adversity: bet on the ability and creativity of startups. The person making this point is Shaun Abrahamson, Founder of Urban.Us, a company that specializes in helping startups with urban solutions. The entrepreneur has helped create and fund several companies in different areas and states that have the best potential to solve problems of cities. Abrahamson was a speaker at the International Conference of Innovative City (CICI 2014), held in Curitiba. To Abrahamson, there are a number of reasons for governments to ask for help for start-ups. One of the most important is that the creators of startups are not afraid to tackle big problems. “They are motivated, a quality that many incumbents and wealthy do not have any more.” he says.
Another reason startups have a different approach to looking at the problems. He cites as an example the Waze: the creators of the company had in mind an application that could alleviate traffic in several parts of the world.
And instead of suggesting roadworks, they used established technologies (GPS, cell phone and internet) to create an algorithm that, in real time, informs the best way to reach a destination. “The Waze is the case of a startup with a wealth of knowledge to the public sector,” he says. ‘s initiative is not only good for the government, but for the city and its inhabitants. The services of startups are cheaper and thus the municipality spends less. The solutions are also always modern, as new technology developers are connected. “In addition, the city gains more companies, jobs and becomes more innovative,” he says. Abrahamson To the city that strives to be entrepreneurial programs should foster the acceleration and have specialized teams who keep an eye on the work of startups. “In doing so, she finds solutions and people willing to help the city.”