A new type of business accelerator geared toward infrastructure and construction businesses is up and running in Virginia, and Kansas City-based architecture startup PlanIT Impact has won a chance to participate in the business boot camp’s first year.

Smart City Works, a non-profit business networking company, has found that construction and infrastructure startups require a different kind of business accelerator than other companies, largely because of their investments in physical developments. That’s why the not-for-profit came up with the Infrastructure Actuator: an environment made specifically to take a construction business idea and tailor it to a real-world marketplace. While utilizing emerging technologies like cloud computing and 4K video, businesses like PlanIT Impact are still infrastructure-based and can benefit from a business course tailored to their needs.

“Smart City Works is the nation’s first business accelerator focused exclusively on technologies and applications for improving the built environment,” said David Heyman, co-founder and partner of Smart City Works, in a press release. “Cities across the globe are looking for innovative solutions to address rising social and civic challenges that they face. We are only going to solve these challenges if we unlock the power of innovation in infrastructure and transform the way we design, build, and operate cities.”

In February, Smart City Works sent out a call for innovative companies in three sectors: transportation, construction techniques, and public safety/resilience. After a competitive selection process, the following companies earned the opportunity to complete the new 90-day business boot camp:

The businesses accepted into the program take a class and receive mentorship from experienced businesses and entrepreneurs in the community in exchange for a part of the company’s equity. They also receive financial planning assistance, resource development and university participation while in the program. Eventually, they acquire access to demonstration test beds, facilities and acquire connections to larger marketplaces, especially cities who need infrastructure improvement.

It’s been about one month since Smart City Works announced the spring 2017 cohort, and Dominique Davison, CEO of PlanIT Impact, has already found value in the program.

“I think we have measurably benefited from our involvement,” Davison said. “The Virginia Tech eco-system is truly impressive and we are looking to continue to bolster our relationships there.”

Further Reading

KC Digital Drive Air Sensors Project Named MetroLab Network & GovTech’s Innovation of the Month

KC Digital Drive’s Air Quality Sensors project was recently highlighted as part of MetroLab Network and Government Technology’s Innovation of the Month Series, which highlights impactful tech, data and innovation projects underway between cities and universities. The sensor project is focused on reducing air pollution in COVID-19 hot beds and improving overall air quality using citizen-accessible data and sensors.

Read More

Civic Innovation Challenge awards $1 million to KC Digital Drive-partnered project to help underrepresented youth access extracurricular learning opportunities

On September 21st, the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the 17 recipients of their Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) Stage 2 Awards. One of the winners was the Connecting Underrepresented Youths with Employment Opportunities, led by the University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc. This project, which KC Digital Drive is partnering on, will build and test an integrated mobile application to help underrepresented youth find and access out-of-school-time learning opportunities.

Read More