6 Takeaways from the Smart City Summit in Washington DC

Last week Venture Smarter hosted a small Smart Cities Summit in Washington, DC bringing together leaders to better understand available resources and addressable opportunity areas looking through the lens of smart cities and the emerging Internet of Everything. Guests included startups, big companies, NGO's, universities, and government agencies with over 100 participants in total including those from the Department of State, World Bank, Internation Development Fund, International Monetary Fund, Delloite, United Nations Foundation, several universities and research institutions, and Venture Smarter partners such as Extreme Networks, Lisnr, SureFire Innovations, WEL Enterprise, Wyzerr, Loop Global, and Hyperloop UC.

Special thanks to our sponsors at Blue Star Inc, Zebra Technologies and smartLINK for making this event possible!

The first event was held at 1776 in Washington, DC as innovators and investors discussed market challenges and opportunities over lunch and engaging discussions. From there, the group headed to The World Bank to work with World Bank Y2Y leaders to better understand how smart city solutions deployed domestically might compress the time to realization of next generation technology implementations in the developing world.

Much was discussed and more work is to be done. But here are the major takeaways and questions from the day:

1. Existing infrastructure in the majority of cases cannot support current smart city pilots and plans. This is especially true in developing regions.

2. Connectivity providers are active in implementing connectivity solutions around the country and are beginning to work with organizations like Venture Smarter to ensure solutions are interoperable and scalable, even across municipal boundaries. 

3. Transportation challenges still exist in connecting hubs of economic activity around the country, with issues ranging from pollution and congestion to parking and accessibility. 

4. There were several discussions on how to help women in the developing world, and how to provide equitable support and access regardless of gender, race, or geographic barriers. The key takeaway was that we can use technology as a tool to enable better outcomes in this space starting with education, awareness, and communication, especially in impoverished regions.

5. The question of the day: How can we address governance in models where civic services are being parceled out to third party providers?

6. Closing remarks by all stressed the need for more firms like Venture Smarter to become actively engaged in an effort to bring together key stakeholders around the feasibility of current and emerging solution sets. 

Interested in learning more about Venture Smarter, smart cities, or the Internet of Things? Let's chate! Email hello@venturesmarter.com.