Hey cleantech & smart city startups! NYC is the world’s biggest market

Ten years ago, cleantech meant solar power and energy farms. Now, it’s all about efficient cities and IoT. Local governments are updating aging infrastructure, have a wealth of users and an insatiable appetite for data. Entrepreneurs are equally hungry to decrease waste and, of course, change the world. Cleantech isn’t just “cleaner” “tech,” it’s smarter hardware that senses surroundings, knows users and manages itself. AI and cheap sensors are tiny foremen programmed to manage and track daily ops.

New York City has its fair share of infrastructure ops. We’re the world’s biggest municipal market for energy, sanitation, transportation and buildings. Imagine how much money and time we could save by being better managed, more transparent and efficient. The global smart city market will top $1.5 trillion by 2020, and VC money in the US doubled to $741.1m since 2015 according to Melissa Mittelman and Elliott Snyder at Bloomberg.


NYC-based Urban.us raised its second fund to invest in smart-city and cleantech startups. This one’s 10x larger than the the VC’s first, in 2014, and Founder Sean Abramsonsays he’s seeing twice as many qualified deals. The percentage of Urban.us’s portfolio invested in government startups is up 22%.

Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC investment lays out ambitious goals to eliminate landfill waste by 2030 (0X30), reduce emissions 80% by 2050 (80 x 50) and help develop sector growth across the city (Urbantech NYC). Every day, we send 12,000 tons to the landfill. Every second, uncontrollable apartment radiators pump heat straight through our windows.

Smart Trash Cans
[5x] capacity, +80% efficiency, cost reduction 75%

Bigbelly’s solar-powered street trash cans transform the mundane into powerful, scalable cleantech. Their cans have sensors that measure capacity, compress waste and email the city for pickup. Bigbelly’s can handle eight times as much trash, cut collection frequency by 80% and overall cost by 75%. All by hacking the garbage can.

At the same time, Bigbelly cuts truck emissions, fuel use and barely leaves a trace of trash for the rats. Through a partnership with Alliance for Downtown New York, Bigbelly scaled up from 16 to 174 over just two years. The Needham, MA-based company is now in every state and 45 countries.


[…] “When we started supporting companies in the cleantech space a few years back, the industry consisted of early-stage companies in incubators and capital-intensive pilot projects,” said Lara Croushore, vice president of NYCEDC’s Center for Urban Innovation. “Now companies are growing, hiring locally and expanding their footprint in New York City. Technologies are scaling, innovation is happening at lower capex and enabled by advanced manufacturing.”



Source: Futureworks NYC