What’s happening in NYC?
Last week we held our first Smartcamp focused on Smart Cities in New York City. It was less than 12 months since we were last in NYC (a SmartCamp record for returning to a location). During the week we also announced that we would hold our SmartCamp Global Finals there in Feb 2013. Both are signals that NYC is now a very active venture ecosystem. Almost 500 start-ups in New York received venture financing from 2007 to 2011, according to an excellent recent report from the Center for an Urban Future. Mike Butcher wrote about it last week. Today the New York Times covered the story.
In addition to the growth of the local investment scene NYC is starting to act for a global hub attracting companies from far afield. Of the 4 start-ups selected for our event only 1 was from the metro area. We also met great companies from Austin, Israel, Turkey, San Francisco and beyond at Disrupt.
The 4 finalists all demonstrated how broad the theme of Smart Cities is:
Enlighted is a Silicon Valley venture-funded start-up dedicated to eliminating energy waste in commercial buildings.
UVAX has developed a Broadband Power Line Communication System which makes street lights more efficient
eVOTZ has a secure mobile voting platform transforming mobile devices into trustworthy election voting machines for the 21st Century
StreetLight Data turns potential customers into actual customers using transportation behavioral data and analytics.
All companies were very strong however StreetLight Data were selected by the judges having best demonstrated the entrepreneurial passion needed to build a big business. Their solution helps retailers and planners find the best locations by knowing where target potential customers go already. This blends together Smarter Commerce with Smart Cities and we look forward to working with Laura and the team.
Friday was meant to be catch-up day however I couldn’t resist the invitation to see 10 Turkish start-ups pitch at an event organized by Murat Aktihanoglu from ERANYC who kindly acted as SmartCamp mentor. It was exciting to see all these companies with real products and real customers start the expansion plans in NYC.
I finished the trip with a visit to Blueprint who have 12,000 sq feet of space in downtown Manhattan and aiming to disrupt the digital healthcare market. More about that later.
Something is happening in NYC.