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Smart city accelerator for Columbus

The programme is being launched by the Singularity University, which aims to use ‘exponential’ technology to address mankind’s grand challenges   

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Columbus is home to the Singularity University's new Smart City Accelerator
Columbus is home to the Singularity University's new Smart City Accelerator

Singularity University (SU), whose mission is to educate, inspire, and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges, is sponsoring the Smart City Accelerator in Columbus, Ohio. The city was the winner of the US Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge last year.


SU Smart City Accelerator will drive the next wave of innovation, providing participants with the exponential technologies, tools, global network of experts, mentors, and partners they need to ensure their ideas and ventures come to market faster. The goal will be better functioning cities that transform how residents and communities work and live.


The accelerator begins accepting applications May 15, 2017, and will bring innovators from around the globe to Columbus in September. The Singularity University Smart City Accelerator will be supported by SU in its first long-term programme outside of Silicon Valley and sponsored locally by American Electric Power and NCT Ventures. Each of the 10 selected businesses will be eligible to receive up to $100,000 in funding from NCT Ventures.


"The SU Smart City Accelerator will attract innovators from around the world and amplify the successes Columbus already has achieved in becoming recognised as a global centre of technology and innovation," said Mayor Andrew J Ginther. "I view the SU Smart Cities Accelerator as a mutually supportive partner and participant of Smart Columbus, and I look forward to working with Singularity University on this transformative initiative."


When Columbus won the US Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge, Singularity University wanted to be part of – and contribute to – the innovation ecosystem here," said Singularity University Vice President of Corporate Innovation, Nick Davis. "One of the primary goals of Smart Columbus is to support the local entrepreneurial environment, expose local corporations and entrepreneurs to cutting-edge ideas from other cities, and provide the foundation for a sustainable link between Columbus and other innovation hubs across the world."


Startups, ranging from early-stage companies with a working prototype of their products to those beginning to grow their revenue, can learn more and apply online at Singularity University Accelerators are differentiated in the market by their focus on exponential thinking and technologies, as well as by the commitment SU makes to supporting innovation over the long term.


"We are committed to giving the innovators and entrepreneurs who participate in this world-class accelerator programme full access to our community as a living laboratory so that we can learn together what business models and technologies are going to make our cities better in the future for all people," said Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, representative of the region’s business leadership and the entity co-leading Smart Columbus alongside the City of Columbus.


"There is unprecedented investment and commitment by local and national industry leaders to demonstrate in Columbus what the future can be for mid-size cities, the most prevalent city size in the world. We are proud to have SU joining the team as we embark on this journey."


The SU Smart Cities Accelerator will choose 10 businesses focused on one or more of the following:

  • Mobility
  • Connectivity
  • Data and analytics
  • Infrastructure and energy
  • Manufacturing and production

With Singularity University’s support, Columbus will have the opportunity to integrate West Coast innovation concepts into its existing networks. Over the past decade, business accelerator programmes tailored to the unique strengths of a given community have emerged as key engines for generating innovation, new businesses and new jobs.


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