Today we launched Australia’s first open innovation program to identify and solve urban challenges at the Myriad Festival in Brisbane.
The CityConnect program brings together leading corporates, governments, investors and universities to collaborate with startups on a 15 month program to find and fund entrepreneurs with smart cities solutions. Applications for CityConnect will open soon.
“Our cities are changing dramatically – we need them to change for the better,” says CityConnect Program Director Johanna Pitman.
“Cities need to deliver better outcomes for their citizens – from better transport options to more inclusive communities. But a lack of collaboration and connectivity between all the parties involved has seen many great ideas fail to take off.
“We want to solve that problem by bringing together a consortium of partners to tackle these challenges collaboratively.
Our founder and CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin says the launch of CityConnect comes as the Australian startup ecosystem grows and improves its connections with the global startup community.
“Cities of the future will be enabled by technology. In order to ensure our cities are liveable and prosperous, Australia must lead with smart cities. We’ve created the CityConnect program to develop world leading technology products to drive Australian innovation.”
“As an Australian-born startup and innovation group with offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, BlueChilli is in the best position to bring together corporates, investors, governments and academics to partner with entrepreneurs here at home, while connecting them to global markets and international opportunities for growth.
“We’re excited with this opportunity to apply the open innovation model we have developed to co-create solutions that can solve significant urban challenges for the world.”
Organisations that join the CityConnect program will benefit from BlueChilli’s proprietary methodology to select and grow great startups.
Building on BlueChilli’s success with existing open innovation programs, such as SheStarts, CityConnect will work with partners to identify problem statements for entrepreneurs to tackle, focused on how we Live, Work, Play, Move and Trade in cities.
Entrepreneurs around the world will be invited to be part of the CityConnect program, with the application period opening soon and a global series of hackathons starting in May in collaboration with AngelHack, the world’s largest developer community.