The True Impact of Startups on Cities

Take a problem, add a dose of passion, a pinch of innovation and a dash of gumption and you have a startup. Merriam-Webster defines a startup as “the act or an instance of setting in operation or motion” or “fledging business enterprise.” This level of ingenuity and entrepreneurship has led to some of the most successful startups—Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, just to name a few.

Big cities are logical hubs for startups. With the allure of an easy commute, access to all the business essentials, and opportunities at every corner it is easy to see why startups flock to these meccas. The increase of population also has increased greenhouse gas emissions. In short, more people means more pollution. The solution while it may be simple it is not as easy to accomplish—diminish the carbon footprint all the while continuing to grow and expand: enter smart city.

What is smart city? In simple terms it is a city in which technology and local government come together in effort to diminish the effects of pollution and yet promote technological growth. How is this possible? It is actually quite simple, more startups. The Knight Foundation reports that after eighteen months spent researching startups and the city issues they aim to solve they found “a rapid increase in founders and investors who want to solve city problems and believe startups are poised to solve many of our biggest city challenges.” Smart City Summit aims to bridge the gap between city and startup through collaboration and innovation, starting with their annual summits. These summits open the door between city and startup to share knowledge, and hopefully be the catalyst in a lasting relationship.

Not only are startups helping cities become “smarter” by reducing their carbon footprint, but more importantly, they are promoting growth through employment opportunities. Startups provide jobs that would simply not exist without our country’s brave innovators. Some startups are so unique that people will relocate just to be part of something new and exciting. Many want in at the ground floor and being in at the ground floor has historically paid off in a big way. A great example of this is Apple, Inc. Yourstory reports that in 1980 when Apple, Inc. went public, 300 millionaires were created almost instantaneously.

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