03 Jun Impact Entrepreneurship for 10.000 Resilient Cities
Some years ago, after a research paper and a successful experience collaborating with a Mediterranean city, some pioneer entrepreneurs, academic experts and social investors started the mission to contribute to better life in cities by improving their urban resilience. We had the vision to develop the best affordable and smart tools to be introduced in cities by certified professionals and organizations.
We were very satisfied to see that not much later 100 million dollars were allocated to promote 100 resilient cities and that innovation and marketing departments from corporations and public bodies started to think about resilient (not only smart) cities. So we took the same way as millions of other social entrepreneurs in other sectors have done before. And we also committed all the mistakes entrepreneurs are told to avoid…: not having a clear pitch; forgetting to validate the product and the business model; not getting metrics; not thinking big, starting small and scaling up fast; managing people, investors and clients in the wrong way or not to being able to lean manage the product and the company.
But the good news is that we have learned. We have learned to be resilient and to be able to bring resilience to others “professionals and cities“ and to help them to learn from their crises, and turn their cities to be better places to live.
Now a new market around the idea of resilience is being created: Habitat III strategy is including the idea, standard bodies and public R&D projects are doing research around the concept, both private and public sector are marketing new solutions and services or (re)packaging existing ones. We, as an emerging startup with a growing engaged team and trusted partners, we still have a long way to go and we are glad to see all these new cities, organizations, professionals and entrepreneurs joining this approach. So we want to continue trying to empower cities and its professionals with hundreds of resilience offices created in communities all around the world as we imagined some time ago.
To do so we are creating a community of certified city professionals from different continents, empowering them with knowledge and technology. We are also participating in R&D projects to develop online tools with new functionalities to improve our city assessment capabilities and create long term resilience strategies. And we are applying new technologies allowing the management of the city based on online simulations and working on new capabilities to bring dashboards for every city with the best resilience indicators, thus introducing a real smart use of the Internet of Things in municipal services.
But all these realities must have a sustainable model behind them. A model that permits to finance resilience not only with grants or multilateral programs but also by creating synergies between ROI and social Impact. That’s why we are also thinking of new business models based on the collaboration between operators, PPP and new financial tools as resilience bonds, and we are imagining a future with citizens turning into investors of their own city or of a concrete resilience project.
Our dream is to promote and to be part of a community of impact entrepreneurs that love cities. We aim at generating social and environmental impact alongside with financial return as some of these realities and future developments need to scale up and others need to be developed. So let’s support these experts and professionals and we will be able to bring resilience to more than 10.000 cities.
CEO & Co-Founder