Hello ,

The current YC Winter 2015 batch—currently worth something that rounds down to $0—will be worth at least $3B on Jan 1st, 2020.” - Sam Altman, Bubble Talk blog post.

Today’s update is a little different. Since Smart City Startups is less than 3 weeks away, we’re going to cover the following:
Growing Investor Interest in Urbantech
Smart City Startups Progress Update
Your Thoughts On Critical Urbantech Challenges

Growing Interest Interest In Urbantech

From realized (and unrealized) returns to their alumni network, Y-Combinator is today’s leading seed stage investor. We believe they might just be getting started because their latest batch includes startups solving an impressively diverse range of problems. We noticed something else - lots of Urbantech. Here are some that caught our attention (thanks to many of you who shared them with us).

Bright is bringing residential solar to Mexico. Build Science is making commercial buildings smarter. Chariot is bringing new mass transit experience priced between Uber and public transit. DemocracyOS is a new platform to organize democracy in the age of new trust infrastructure like Blockchains. The Detroit Water Project helps families pay for water. Dronebase and Perception Labs is helping to organize Drone deployments.

Rescue Forensics is helping law enforcement take on the child sex trade. Equipmentshare is bringing the sharing economy to the construction business. Smarking is helping parking managers improve profitability. Transitmix is enabling the next generation of transit planning. Van Hawks is making bikes smarter. Valor Water is providing analytics to water utilities.

Some of these companies should look familiar because we have introduced them here or because they are pursuing problems that many of our portfolio companies are taking on. We’re excited that the most successful early stage investors in the world recognize the promise of Urbantech. Techcrunch has a nice round-up of Day 1 and Day 2.

Smart City Startups Update

We’ve confirmed over 80 startups so far and yesterday we did a walkthrough of the mobility test track and space for the Direct Energy smart home mobile exhibit. The founders are taking on problems covering government administration, law enforcement, civic engagement, social services, mass transit, traffic management, personal mobility, parking efficient built environment and mapping. We expect that there are a few companies here who will positively change 100 cities within 5 years (yes, we’re betting folks will get to meet some Unicorns).

In addition to the founders, we’re expecting about 150 more people to participate in the summit including people representing real estate managers and developers; energy companies; local government technology, policy and procurement; corporate venture capital; foundations; impact investors and non-profits focused on making cities and local government better. These folks are some of the very best people who care about cities, technology, policy and the promise of startups to solve some of our most challenging urban problems. And they are coming from all over the world.

We’ve closed ticket sales for the Summit and Festival talks, but we’ve expanded access to the demo and showcase area. You can help more people experience the future of cities by sharing via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Your Thoughts on Urbantech Challenges

The first day of Smart City Startups is focused on showcasing what startups are doing. The second day is all about helping founders solve critical challenges from early stage working capital to navigating local government procurement.

While we are programming some sessions, the majority of sessions with be determined with participants the day before the event. We’d love to know what we’re missing or what you think we should change. This is the current agenda.

Finally, congratulations to the Kiwi.ki team on their Series A raise in Germany. They’re making great progress replacing physical keys with a more convenient and secure alternative for residents, building managers and service providers.

See you soon in Miami.

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