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Trailblazing start-ups awarded

LocalIntel and CNX are applauded for their efforts to promote more livable, workable and sustainable communities

LocalIntel's tools help communities promote their strengths and share intelligence
LocalIntel's tools help communities promote their strengths and share intelligence

Smart Cities Council has honoured two start-up companies for their commitment to providing solutions that help municipalities connect more effectively with the business community to spur economic development and innovation during Smart Cities Week, held May 8-10 in Silicon Valley.


“Every new frontier has its trailblazers that go out and find paths that will lead the rest of us to a better place,” said Smart Cities Council Chairman Jesse Berst. “We are so pleased that we can showcase some of these pioneering companies and their inspired efforts to promote more livable, workable and sustainable communities.”


Start-ups participating in the Innovation Alley showcase were judged by a committee including Jason Anderson, president and CEO, Cleantech San Diego; Kip Tew, partner, Ice Miller Public Affairs Group, and David Witkowski, executive director, Civic Technology Initiatives, Joint Venture Silicon Valley.


Judges honoured Calgary-based LocalIntel for its set of economic development tools that make it easier for communities to promote their strengths, share market intelligence and support local business growth. The company’s catalogue of tools brings together location and market data, GIS technology, powerful analytics and advanced user experience in one fully integrated cloud-based solution.


It provides the flexibility to then integrate the tools on an existing website or as a stand-alone microsite, making it easier for businesses to track down valuable information about the local economy, customers, competition and more. Since launching, the company has partnered with 22 municipalities and two regions across North America, ranging in size from 5,000 to 1.3 million people, including Seattle, Calgary and Edmonton.


“We’re helping municipalities use their own open data to help local businesses grow and thrive,” said LocalIntel co-founder and CEO Dave Parsell. With economic development tools that are affordable and low maintenance, he added, communities small and large can create more jobs and more opportunities.


Parsell said the Innovation Alley Award is a useful milestone as the young company highlights the work it is doing with other municipalities, such as the city of Seattle which in March of this year partnered with LocalIntel to launch a Business Decision Engine.


CNX, based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, was the other 2017 Innovation Alley Award winner. One judge called what the start-up is doing to help cities unlock the value of their publicly owned assets for broadband expansion “a true game-changer.”


Through its software platform, CNX provides a one-stop-shop for collaboration between cities and companies seeking to use public assets for building and expanding communications networks. The CNX platform enables greater visibility into asset locations and meta-data, streamlined workflow and processing of site permitting applications, and seamless transactions pertaining to the use of city properties.


With CNX, cities are optimising their assets, offloading the processing and transactional burdens of permitting and leasing sites while wireless solutions providers and network builders are enjoying dramatic improvements in speed to market in an environment more friendly to investment.


“We’re honoured to come to Silicon Valley, the heart of global innovation, and be recognised by the Smart Cities Council with this Innovation Alley Award,” said CNX CEO Brian Mefford.


“Smart cities require intelligent infrastructure and this recognition highlights the need for a platform where cities can collaborate with companies seeking to invest in communications networks - whether 5G, sensor-based, fibre optic or all of the above. CNX is proud to have created just that platform which provides the proverbial win-win for the public and private sector leaders who are driving network-dependent innovation in cities.”


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