Hello ,

“This is not going to go the way you think.”
- Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi.
In 2015, Ahmad, Nicole and Tim worked together on a school project at Stanford. We met them later that year. Until we saw their demo, we’d never really thought about how public data and machine learning might be used to reduce the impact of earthquakes on cities. Shortly after the demo, they founded Oneconcern and we joined a few investors to get them going. This week, they announced a $20 million series A to enable them to take on other natural disasters.
Oneconcern isn’t alone. In the coming weeks we’ll share a few more series A and B raises from our teams working to make cities better. We can’t always predict how startups will make cities better, but we try to say focused on large problems like these:
1. Elastic Spaces - A common default for providing more housing capacity is to simply build more. However, the problem is not just that new building construction is limited by space, policies, and time—there is also the issue of affordability. How can we provide more housing options quickly and cheaply?

2. Resilient Utilities - Cities need to adjust to new water challenges. For many areas, local water sources are being exhausted. At the same time, climate effects, such as rising seas and weather that leads to more flooding, are creating new water challenges. What new solutions might help reduce the strain and increase access to water sources? How can cities more effectively cope with flooding?

3. Service Superpowers - for a range of tasks from product delivery to infrastructure inspection, it makes sense to build driverless or pilotless machines. But there is so much more we can do to improve training and performance of the people tasked with building, maintaining and delivering city services. How do we give people new superpowers to serve cities better?

4. Stronger Stacks - We’re seeing completely new technology stacks emerge for areas like indoor farming, autonomous vehicles, city data, distributed energy and manufactured buildings. The first iterations reveal problems. What solutions might make these new stacks, stronger?

5. Trust Infrastructure - Cryptocurrencies have hogged the headlines, but they depend on new architectures for managing trust. They open up new possibilities for everything from funding to governance. How might blockchains be used to plan, fund and manage the next generation of core city services?

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Urban Us

We’re hosting office hours in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Paris, London and Barcelona during the second week of January. If you can't join us in person, we have some online options too. Book office hours.

URBAN-X applications are open until January 31st 2018. Join us at 6PM on Thursday, February 8 at URBAN-X as we celebrate the culmination of our third program with Demo Day.
See you in the new year and happy holidays!
- Liz, Mark, Anthony, Stonly & Shaun
Thanks for working with us to make the Urbantech ecosystem better.
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