Hi there ,
Why would they change math?
- Bob Parr (aka Mr Incredible), Incredibles 2
VC math makes hardware startups hard to fund. But the math works when someone else finances the hardware. Then you get to be an “asset light” company - all the benefits of hardware and non of the capital requirements.
This works for well known assets like homes or cars, but when you have new kinds of hardware there usually isn’t someone else to finance it. It’s mostly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ all around.
We see a lot of promising urbantech hardware companies and we think there are some ways to make their math work for VCs. Here’s what we’ve been doing.
Hi there ,
“The best time to start [reducing emissions] was 25 years ago. The second best time is today.”
- Gavin Schmidt in response to the latest IPCC special report on 1.5C
We’ve been sending these updates for 242 weeks. Since week 1, our goal has been the same: find and support founders who are working to make city life better.
Why cities? Cities play a central role in causing and paying the price for climate change, but they also hold the key to many of the viable approaches we might take to avoid its worst consequences.
After five years, thousands of pitches, and nearly fifty investments, we’ve never been more certain todays startups will play a central role in addressing climate change. This is a multi trillion dollar market and a priceless opportunity for humanity.

What Startups Need to Know About Regulated Markets - know your rent-seekers
Special report: The next tech wave rides on 5G
"As a founder, you should either be fundraising or not — and if you are, it should be done with great intention." more at First Round Review
How to Recession-Proof Rental Housing by Daniel Wu
Financial Modeling for Startups: An Introduction
Being able to work effectively as a distributed team has huge advantages. Talent is everywhere. We'd be crazy not to take advantage of it. Business Insider

Cities & Sustainability
Focus on Fleets: 3 Ways that Startups and Innovators Can Get More Electric Vehicles on the Road Now H/T Phillip Kobernick
Mobility-as-a-Service to replace 2.3bn car journeys by 2023 H/T Ezra Goldman
Sequences of purchases in credit card data reveal lifestyles in urban populations
How Smart Should a City Be? Toronto Is Finding Out H/T Lance Legel
Why protected bike lanes are more valuable than parking spaces [video]
As electric scooter use increases, so do trips to the ER
San Francisco Denies Scooter Permits to Uber, Lyft, Bird, and Others
Air-conditioners do great good, but at a high environmental cost H/T Daniel Myers

Saint Paul, MN’s $130 million wastewater treatment plant upgrade challenge: http://blog.citymart.com/challenges/
LA New Mobility Challenge: https://www.lacomotion.com/la-nmc-2018
Grand Rapids, Miami and Pittsburgh $100K Urban Mobility Challenge: https://challenges.cityoftomorrow.com/
“The Women4Climate Tech Challenge is an international contest open to any woman designing an innovative, climate-focused tech solution.”: https://w4c.org/tech-challenge
STIR just launched another 80+ startup-friendly RFPs in areas like data analytics, IoT, mobility and more. Apply by Nov 7th for the chance to help cities and secure a contract https://startupinresidence.org
Be an early contributor to the Urban Technology page on Wikipedia
Social Construct is hiring Makers, Supply Chain Managers and Construction Managers
17 more Urban Us portfolio companies are hiring including Avvir, Revivn, Rentlogic, Logcheck, Sapient, and ClearRoad.
Omidyar Network is recruiting an Associate, Governance and Citizen Engagement

Urban Us
It's a hat. It's a helmet. It's time to make history. Park & Diamond is on it’s way to over $1m on IndieGoGo so please grab one (via this discount link) and share the next generation of mobility safety wear with your network.
Meet all the URBAN-X Cohort 4 [video] companies in TechCrunch and talking with Jason on This Week in Startups [video].
Bowery Farming in Forbes
Bumblebee Spaces in The New York Times and INC
One Concern in Scientific America
OneWheel in the Miami Herald where it’s used in crime prevention

Last but not least, please welcome Alice Kamens, the newest member of the Urban Us team!
- Liz, Alice, Shaun, Mark, Anthony, and Stonly

Thanks for working with us to reimagine cities.
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.

Did someone share this email with you? Apply to join us.

Startup Intros
Coord - beyond getting to work with longtime friends, here’s why we’re excited about Coord.
URBAN-X Cohort 5 - Here are the newest startups we’re working with. Meet them at our Celebrate Your City: Holiday Party + Cohort 05 Launch event.
Treau is improving the noise, install and efficiency of window AC units
Borrow is increasing ownership options for electric vehicles
Gearbuddy is unlocking the efficiency of construction equipment
Thrilling is reducing clothing waste
Toggle is improving construction processes with robots
The Free Ride is increasing accessible and climate friendly mass transit options in cities
If you’re working in related industries, apply to meet the founders early.

Sales Coaching for The Digital Age h/t Mark Crofton
Customer Service: When the policies win, people get dragged off planes by Leif Abraham
Broken Syndicates
An open source bias audit toolkit for machine learning developers

Cities & Sustainability
Beijing, the Cradle of Micromobility, in Pictures
You Might Find Your Next Home on Amazon
A resiliency team takes an out-of-the-box approach to America’s least sexy problem
Arnaud Sahuguet’s Notes from CityLab: Detroit (2018)
Daniel Wu’s three lessons from the Urban-X panel “Future of Affordable Housing”
How cities can fix tourism hell
11 Developments In Govtech That You Really Need To Know

Citymart Open Procurements: LA Traffic, Denver Smart Cities, Danish Construction
Transit Tech Lab: Subway Challenge & Bus Challenge
NSF Challenge: Mobility, Built Environment, Equity & Access, Resilience
YC Request for Startups: Carbon Removal Technologies
The Lab is holding an open call for ideas for financial instruments that can unlock investment to tackle some of the most difficult climate and sustainable development challenges.
Urban Future Prize Competition: Open House

72 jobs at 19 Urban Us portfolio companies including Architizer, LiveStories, Urbint, ClearRoad, Rentlogic, Onewheel, SeamlessDocs, Coord and Starcity.
Associate at Energy Innovation
East Coast Director of Policy at Greenlots
Director of Network at The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership [pdf]

Urban Us
Roadbotics raises $3.9m seed
HAAS Alert awarded $1.1M from the Department of Homeland Security
Kiwi Delivery Robots Expand to LA
Robyn at Blueprint in discussion with Gotham Gal
Starcity in WSJ
Bumblebee Spaces on CNBC
Rema at Swiftera in Forbes 30 under 30
Donnel at Blocpower on building an ethical billion dollar company
Niki at Campsyte in Totem Talks
Onewheel embarks on expansion
Park & Diamond crushed their launch with over $1m sold in the first 30 days. You can still pre-order on Indiegogo

Happy holidays,
- Liz, Alice, Shaun, Mark, Anthony, and Stonly
Thanks for working with us to reimagine cities.
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.

Did someone share this email with you? Apply to join us.