Hi there ,

“We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon. Instead, we write narratively structured six-page memos.”
- Jeff Bezos in the 2018 Amazon shareowner letter.

We’ve long been proponents of writing memos, but this isn’t even the most interesting part of the letter.

Bezos describes the difference between recognizing excellence and understanding how much work is required to achieve excellence. It’s often the case that people want to invest time for a few days or weeks to replicate excellence; however, the required time investment is frequently 10 times more than people expect.

We see this routinely as first-time founders learn to raise their seed rounds. We can show the best recipe for fundraising process and decks. We can even make good introductions. But founders succeed when they commit the time to get excellent results.

For more insights, check out the 2018 Amazon shareowner letter.

#startup intro

Robotic spaces—we’ve discussed Ori Systems before, but here we discuss why robotic spaces matter to real estate.

Meet our new URBAN-X Cohort—you’re invited to meet the seven teams working on:
+ landlord rating systems
+ outdoor space rentals
+ a new bike helmet that looks nothing like a helmet
+ the first power outlet upgrade in 100 years
+ automated construction quality assurance
+ improved insurance by using city data

We’ll introduce the teams on May 8 at A/D/O. Please RSVP to join us.


Intelligent Light as a Service because we don’t want bulbs, we just want light

The Case for the “Common App” for Government Procurement H/T Mariel Reed

Every VC in Silicon Valley turned us down—on the founding of Salesforce

What Can You Learn From Ring’s Astounding Success—on having conviction as a founder and as an investor

CEOs with Diverse Networks Create Higher Firm Value

3 types of startups helping you fight energy waste and save money a guest contribution by Daniel Wu


A Cyberattack Hobbles Atlanta, and Security Experts Shudder H/T Adrian Fine

San Francisco will regulate scooter sharing and this list will grow

Introducing Replica, a next-generation urban planning tool gets to how we move around cities

Los Angeles Plans To Find The Solution To Its Housing Crisis In Its Backyards H/T Laura Fox

AI providers will increasingly compete with management consultancies H/T Josh Troy

Creating Bike Lanes Isn’t Easy. Just Ask Baltimore. Or Boulder. Or Seattle H/T Keith Cutler


Great list of B2G programs by Mariel Reed. Open for contribution.

Clean Energy Trust is hiring a Sr. Analyst

Next City’s gathering of the best and brightest rising urban leaders will meet in New Orleans, September 12–15, 2018. Applications for the 2018 Vanguard conference are open from April 1, 2018, through May 31, 2018. Learn more. H/T Jonathon Ende

#Urban Us

Betting On Artificial Intelligence To Guide Earthquake Response—1Concern talks with NPR

Kiwi Campus Master Plan For Last Mile Delivery [Video]—includes a self-driving trike

In June, Urban Us is opening an office in LA. Our HQ will remain right here on the Internet, and you can usually meet us in real life in SF, NY, and DC.

This summer, you’ll also find us at Smart Cities Week Silicon Valley, Govtech.Pioneers in Vienna, London Tech Week, and LAUNCH Festival Sydney.

- Mark, Liz, Stonly, Anthony, & Shaun
Thanks for working with us to make the Urbantech ecosystem better.
Need more Urbantech? Founders are helping each other on Slack, and we syndicate investments on AngelList. Catch up on past updates here and follow us on Twitter. Grab your copy of the Urbantech Startup Playbook.

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