Image: Sascha & Julia Haselmayer (source: Crain’s New York)
Two of the most common questions we get are: What are the biggest city problems? How do you meet startups? Citymart might be the most interesting example of both.
First, Citymart is tackling one of the biggest city challenges – how will cities spend 10% of the global GDP? That’s really how much spending cities control. Over the last few years, Citymart has worked with cities around the world to discover the reasons why cities have struggled purchased the best solutions, particularly when it comes to emerging technologies from street lighting to open data systems.
Following their research, Citymart patiently crafted a process, which they have repeated more than 100 times. This process has led their city partners to some of the following results, on average:
- Cities meet 10x more providers
- Cities achieve 80% cost savings from the resulting solutions
- 98% of contracts won by SME’s, startups and social enterprises
We believe Citymart is ready to scale up their process and quickly bring these results to 1000s of cities around the world. We’re going to do whatever we can to help them make this happen.
Then there’s the question of how we meet teams. This is a fun one. When we started discussing Urban.Us in 2013, we working at the Lab Miami. Brett Hudson, who was also working at The Lab Miami, immediately said “there is guy you need to meet in Barcelona. He runs this company called Citymart.”. Then came the email and then the detour to Barcelona on my way to Hamburg. And then, most importantly, came many glasses of wine as I struggled to keep up with a fast walking and excited Sascha Haselmayer.
Up until my conversation with Sascha, some very smart VCs and friends had warned of the deadly nature of B2G sales. Everyone had a story of startup that had failed because of complex procurement or long sales cycles. Sascha had even more stories and data about failures. But he had the beginnings of a solution – some successful processes he’d been running for cities like Barcelona and San Francisco. And for the first time, I believed. I believed that it might just be possible to startups to work with local governments to enable them to benefit from emerging tech.
That was 2.5 years ago. And Sascha has been a great advisor as we’ve tried to understand everything from city problems to procurement. We’ve also had a chance to meet real force behind Citymart, Julia Haselmayer, Sascha’s wife and parter at Citymart. Now it’s our turn to help and we’re super excited to get started. Welcome Sascha and Julia and the Citymart Team.