Introducing the Next Wave of Urban Impact Entrepreneurs
How can we find more skilled trades workers to hire locally? Or create a technology to fund the homeless and other neighbors in need? Entrepreneurs have found innovative ways to tackle some of the toughest challenges plaguing cities. In the former case, WorkHands designed a blue collar LinkedIn service to connect workers in the trades with employment opportunities. In the latter, HandUp created a mobile and online donation tool to support the homeless. Both startups represent Tumml entrepreneurs – high growth urban innovators that are creating scalable solutions for city problems.
When Tumml launched a search for its Winter 2014 cohort, we were impressed by the outpouring of applications. From Austin to Accra, we found entrepreneurs working to solve some of the most pressing issues in their communities. They are developing solutions for water storage, transportation, city planning, and so much more.
For our upcoming cohort, we received 130 applications, with two-thirds of the applicant pool coming from outside of the Bay Area. The high quantity and regional diversity of our applicant pool reveals that there is a real movement of entrepreneurs working on consumer-facing products and services that solve city problems – from all across the world.
Without further ado, we are pleased to announce the five new members of Tumml’s Winter 2014 Cohort, which starts today:
The Farmery is an urban vertical farming and retailing system designed to produce and sell local food in the city.
Feeding Forward is a mobile platform that connects those with excess food to those in need.
Neighbor.ly is a toolkit to help people, brands, and foundations to invest in the places and projects they care about.
SavySwap is a secure experience to get what you want simply by trading.
Sovi is a pinboard for local and community events.
These companies will spend the next four months working in Tumml’s office space in downtown San Francisco, receiving mentorship from a group of accomplished urbanites (like the Director of Public Policy at Airbnb), as well as $20,000 in seed funding. We are thrilled to welcome these five companies to the Tumml family and look forward to seeing them grow with us!
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Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
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I caught up recently with Sarah Charlton who is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
The research she is leading, located in both Johannesburg, South Africa and Maputo, Mozambique, looks at the interface between the mobility use by residents and transportation investments by the state. The question guiding her research is “are ordinary households using the transport modes that the government is investing in and prioritizing?” The research is a partnership between two universities across two countries and two cities.
Sarah reflects on research during the pandemic across languages, countries, histories and cultures.