Startup Weekend Columbus: Smart Cities Edition Slated for May 13-15

Startup Weekend Columbus takes a focus on Smart Cities for its next event this Friday through Sunday, May 13-15, 2016.

National Startup Weekend organizers have been encouraging communities across the country to shape their weekends around themes.

“We decided that [Smart Cities] would be a fun vertical to do because of the Smart City Grant Columbus is a part of,” says Organizer Jay Clouse.

Columbus is one of seven cities across the nation competing for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Grant that will award up to $40 million to one city’s proposal to implement technology-based solutions for improving transit systems.

“We want to help galvanize the City of Columbus around the idea of competing for the Smart City Grant,” Clouse says. “There needs to be a groundswell of people in the community taking note and taking part in the conversation.”

Many people associate Smart Cities with just transportation, but Clouse explains that it is much more than that.

“It’s connecting people to the city in ways that piggyback on where technology can be now,” he says.

Startup Weekend will be looking for ideas surrounding:

  • Transportation
  • Infrastructure
  • Internet accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • City planning
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Urban agriculture
  • Waste and recycling

Open to individuals of all backgrounds and skill sets, the goal of the weekend is to use innovation, data and technology to streamline ideas in all of these different areas to connect citizens to the city.

Rev1 Ventures, 1275 Kinnear Rd., will be the host site of the event, and also happens to be the location of Columbus Smart City grant team. Clouse says the grants team has been working for many months to solidify Columbus’ plan, so ideas from the weekend might not have an influence over the final product, but the event is instead designed to build awareness and created fire power around the idea of smart cities.

The grants team will have representation at the event as lead Emerald Hernandez acts as a judge for the final pitch presentation on Sunday.

For more information and to sign up for the weekend, visit swcbus.com.