Startup Candidate Introduction FAQ

Why do we make introductions?

We’ve spent years identifying the people and organizations who care about startups and cities. We’ve invited over 1,500 of them to join the Urban Us Network.

Introductions to the network tend to be good for you, us and the people who participate in the Urban Us Network. Here’s why:

We’re mostly interested in understanding problems, customers and stakeholders. We’ve never worked in law enforcement or a water utility, so it’s helpful for us to hear from people in the network who have.

Introductions often lead to interest from prospective partners, customers and investors. This interest sometimes results in deals like investments or pilots, but at a minimum founders get good feedback.

Even if we don’t invest, with a few exceptions, founders have told us that our introduction process is helpful.

Who is going to see the introduction?

People in the Urban Us network. We encourage you to join so you can take a look at the member directory.

What do I need to do before the introduction?

We ask you to join the Urban Us Network. When you apply to join, we’ll ask for some information, and we’ll use that to determine if an introduction makes sense. We’ll follow up with some questions to gather a bit more background.

After an internal review, if we decide to move forward, we’ll draft an introduction. The first page of the introduction uses information you’ve supplied, and the second contains our own analysis, opinions and questions. You’ll be able to see other introductions when you join the Urban Us Network.

But I’m in stealth mode…

We don’t need to mention your company specifically or even at all. We do some introductions that just focus on a problem domain and compare existing players in the space–often contrasting incumbents and startups. This is a way to stay in stealth mode, but the downside is missing out on the opportunity to meet people in the Urban Us network.

Will you sign an NDA?

We don’t sign NDAs. In our experience, very few investors do.

Comments, feedback, and 1:1 introductions

A link to your post will be shared in our update to the Urban Us Network. Members who want to read or comment on your post will be required to log into the Urban .Us website. We’ll alert you if there are any comments on your post or on Slack.

Often, the best feedback from the network comes in the form of direct emails and live conversations. In these instances, we’ll summarize the discussions and make direct introductions, as needed.

What happens after the introduction?

We’ll summarize any open questions. If we don’t invest, we’ll explain our concerns. In a few cases, founders have asked us to remove any reference to their company out of concern that it might bias other investor decisions. We’ll always honor these requests. If we move forward, we’ll finalize investment terms and share a diligence checklist to wrap up the process.

What’s next?

We are happy to answer any more questions that you have about our process before and at any stage of the process. We look forward to learning more about your company and potentially working together.

Please email us at hello@urban.us if you have any specific questions about this document or the process we’ve described here.