Business center of a city
Business center of a city

City Innovation Ecosystems

The National League of Cities, with support from Schmidt Futures, is announcing 50 cities, along with a number of universities and national organizations, that have made specific and bold commitments to ensure their communities will thrive in the modern, innovation-driven economy. These investments come at a critical time when there is a growing need for resources to create startups and train the next generation of science and engineering talent in communities across America. Currently, 80 percent of venture capital goes to just five metropolitan areas, and computer science is not offered in 75 percent of American high schools.

Ranging from rural townships, college towns, and major metros, cities have joined with over 200 local partners and leveraged over $100 million in regional and national resources to support young businesses, leverage technology and expand STEM education and workforce training for all. These new partnerships will:

  • Support new and expanded STEM initiatives that connect over 700,000 kids and workers to careers in technology. For example: Tampa, in partnership with 13 university, civic and private sector partners, will provide up to 600,000 regional K-12 students invention and entrepreneurship training.
  • Partner cities with startups to improve government services in 15 municipalities. For example: Fourteen cities are partnering with City Innovate to establish or expand their local Startup in Residence programs. These programs connect startups with government agencies to co-develop technology solutions to pressing civic challenges.
  • Foster and resource local entrepreneurs in five cities. For example: Akron and the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce are identifying and supporting 25 local companies that have business models that can grow into regional employment generators.
  • Create and improve eight innovation districts — urban neighborhoods that bring together researchers, workers and entrepreneurs — to ensure these areas benefit all. For example: Providence, with eight higher education institutions and two hospital systems, is creating a new public-private-university partnership, the Urban Innovation Partnership, to collectively govern and develop two Innovation Districts within Providence.
  • Serve as living laboratories to translate university research to address critical social issues such as opioid overdoses, autonomous public transportation, cleaner electrical grids and climate change. For example: Tempe and Arizona State University are testing waste water for opioids to redeploy public services to neighborhoods in the most need.
  • Establish and fund significant, new public-private-civic partnerships that target timely local opportunities. For example: Hartford, with Hartford’s insurance industry, led by Travelers, The Hartford, Cigna and LIMRA, and the non-profit StartupBootcamp, have joined together to make the city of Hartford the country’s premier destination for insurance technology startups.

Click here to see the full report with specifics on each commitment.

 

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