I met several SMEs and startups over the past weeks to invite them to join Urban ICT Arena. I offered access to the testbed, the networks, the partners, the co-creation arena and the display window so they can come and innovate, develop, test and showcase solutions, ideas, business models etc. in collaboration with others.
Urban ICT Arena has a commitment to provide value to a wide range of different organizations and stakeholders, especially SMEs, although the Founding Partners are mostly public organizations and large multinational corporations. These talks with representatives from SMEs mark the start of a stronger focus on what Urban ICT Arena must contribute to be relevant to a broader range of companies. The following bullets outline future key contributions that have come up in these talks so far:
- connect the investor segment to the arena,
- provide some funding for startups and SME Project Owners,
- create a pitch platform for great ideas to be presented,
- provide access to the needs of the public sector and low threshold for cooperation with the public sector, and
- invite startups and SMEs, open the door for their ideas and enable them to be realized.
Since we are early on in the process of growing Urban ICT Arena, this does not imply crisis or failure. But we really need to be open and accessible to as many as possible in practice and mindset as well as in theory and will. To be continued…