"Build sports car
Use that money to build an affordable car
Use that money to build an even more affordable car
While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options
Don't tell anyone."
- Elon Musk, Tesla Blog, 2006

We have a secret plan of our own. Every two weeks we’ve asked for your help to:
(1) Find promising founders who want to make cities better.
(2) Help them raise capital.
(3) Help them find customers.
(4) Help them cheat certain kinds of death (death by sales cycle, death by regulations, etc.).
(5) Demonstrate how well the portfolio is doing on public public benefits, customers, and shareholders so we can get more capital and return to (1).

We’ll repeat steps 1-5 until city life is free of want and cities are the answer and no longer the primary cause of climate change.

This week we are focused on step 4. Over the last 2.5 years we’ve fallen in love with things like procurement, hardware, capital stacks, and regulations. Startup investors will immediately recognize this as completely unnatural behavior for VCs. But we’re accidental VCs, so it’s probably OK. More importantly, we’ve learned a great deal and met many folks who have deep understanding of how to cheat many of these startup killers.

We’ll pull together everything we know about the best cheats for startups that want to make cities better. We’re doing this for founders, but we hope it will also help investors understand how Urbantech startups can thrive and be attractive investments. We also hope it will help cities, foundation, universities, and companies find new opportunities to support primising startups.

We’ve already received valuable comments (thanks, Anthony Townsend, Sasha Haselmayer, Marshal Cox, Chris Klein, and Jonathon Ende). We’d love for you to chime in on the Urbantech Startup Playbook.

[Startup Candidate] Optimus Ride is re-imagining mobility with self-driving technologies. Learn more.

[Startup Candidate] WaiveCar – The world’s first all-electric and free car-sharing program. Lean more.

[Startup Candidate] LiveStories enables easy data publishing for local governments. Learn more.

[Insights] There are 3bn Apple and Android computers on the planet. This changes everything from marketing to hardware. Ben Evans from a16z explains why. [h/t Christian Busch]

[Insights] Consumption & The City – By 2030, consumers in large cities will account for 81 percent of global consumption. McKinsey makes the case for an urban world.

[Insights] The marketing stack is expanding rapidly. From paid acquisition to marketing automation, this map will help you find your way.

[Insights] Understanding customer loyalty from two NYC bagel shops that are 200 feetapart. Of bagels, love, and funnels (or customer journeys). [thanks, Eric Hersman]

[Startup Update] Commercial drones. Skycatch CEO Christian Sanz explores commercial drones and how evolving regulations are changing industries like construction, solar, agriculture, and mining. More on Medium.

[Startup Updates] Real estate tech is growing. The Observer talks with Rudin Management, Radiator Labs, and Kiwi.ki about their progress in NYC and Berlin.

[Startup Update] HandUp campaigns are now available to human services organizations anywhere in the United States. Learn More.

[Urban.Us News] Autonomy.Paris is a 4 day event to celebrate the future of urban mobility. We’re excited to work with them. Just hit reply if you want to learn more about how you can get involved.

[Urban.Us News] Welcome Citymart. We’re excited to announce our latest investment and to be working with one of the teams that inspired us to start Urban.Us. Welcome Citymart.

Have a great weekend.
- Shaun, Stonly, and Anthony

P.S. if you know engineers and sales people who want to make cities better, there are loads of opportunities at Urban.Us portfolio companies.

P.P.S. can’t really open the update with Tesla and not say anything about how SpaceX landed a rocket on the drone ship. The Verge found Elon Musks first tweet, which he deleted. It includes lines like “I’m on a boat @#&!ers”, which seems like the ideal response. Here’s the video.
Need more Urban.Us? Find Us on Slack, Angel.co and Twitter. Catch up on past updates here.

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