Collaboration spawns acceleration for smart city startups

The pioneering spirit of startups in the smart city world is set for a boost as TM Forum partners with Leading Cities, a non-profit organization that is preparing for the 2018 launch of its international accelerator program, ‘AcceliCity’.

Startup accelerators provide support for growth-driven companies that are still in their early stages, usually enabling them with mentorship, education and financing. The Forum’s involvement with the Leading Cities initiative will be through our Open APIs and our new Smart City Reference Architecture, which is under development.

The AcceliCity program is an international network of smart city-focused accelerators, and comes with an intensive boot camp in Boston, which culminates in opportunities for smart city startups to secure clients, investment funding and exhibition space at next year’s Smart City Expo. Both the Forum and Leading Cities have a global community of urban experts and practitioners and will leverage these networks to better prepare and position smart city startups for success beyond prototyping.

“It is not sufficient to mentor and prepare startups so you can point them in the direction toward success. They must be put securely on the path of success, with investment funding, clients and revenue,” said Michael Lake, president and CEO of Leading Cities.

The first two sites for the accelerators will be Barcelona, one of the world’s leading Smart Cities, and Boston, one of the richest startup ecosystems globally. Companies creating solutions within the AcceliCity program will be able to reap the benefits of the following TM Forum initiatives and solutions:

City as a Platform Manifesto principles

These ten common principles act as a guide to those setting public policy, and as a design philosophy to unite the many organizations involved in each smart city program, including large and small technology companies. The principles support the growth of smart city initiatives worldwide and include principles supporting collaboration, the sharing economy, ecosystems, governance, common standards and politics.

Smart City Reference Architecture

TM Forum is mapping out a standardized best practice of the key platform business capabilities required for smart city digital ecosystems, the corresponding technical capabilities and the Open APIs needed to implement them. Our CurateFX tool helps firms visualize all this and manage it in one place.

Open APIs

Developers use TM Forum’s suite of 40+ Open APIs to transform their IT and improve operational agility and customer centricity, which saves time and increases organizational efficiency.

“A shared collaborative approach between cities makes it possible for startups to build solutions not just for one city, but for many” said Carl Piva, Vice President and Managing Director of TM Forum’s smart city initiative. “This agreement further strengthens the bond between cities and the technology ecosystem represented within TM Forum. Aligning a de-facto standards-driven global Smart City Reference Architecture with urban needs is the way to enable successful public/private partnerships.”


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    Arti has been writing and editing for seven years in the fields of technology, business and finance. She is particularly interested in how firms are innovating to bring us into the next digital age.

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