San Antonio-based Cityflag, a startup that develops civic engagement technological platforms for local governments, has been chosen as one of 10 companies participating in a new Techstars accelerator program. The global entrepreneurial network announced Wednesday the launch of its Techstars Arcadis City of 2030 accelerator program designed for companies pioneering far-reaching technologies that will define the quality of life for residents in cities.
Arcadis, a leading global design firm focused on infrastructure, sustainable water, buildings, and environmental solutions, has partnered with Techstars on the accelerator program to support companies developing innovative ideas that will shape the future of cities. The new three-month accelerator program is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Startups from six countries, including The Netherlands, the U.S., Spain, Italy, Germany, and Australia have joined the first cohort. Of of the ten participants, only four are from the U.S., with Cityflag as the only company hailing from Texas.
The three Cityflag co-founders—Alberto Altamirano, Eduardo Bravo Jr., and Alberto Gomez—traveled to Amsterdam February 28 and will return to Texas in June.
“These are the ones that will create the future, that will drive the innovations that get us there, and—together with Arcadis and Techstars—that will define the City of 2030,” managing director of the new accelerator program David Mendez wrote. “Sustainable development and ensuring future resiliency will require innovation and leveraging technology to solve increasingly critical urban problems.”
Cityflag designed the City of San Antonio’s 311SA application that enables residents to report municipal issues to the city for resolution. The 311 app allows San Antonio residents to upload photos of municipal problems such as a downed street sign or graffiti and geotag it using Google Maps.
Read more: San Antonio Launches Cityflag 311 App
The three co-founders are developing valuable connections to the other founders in the cohort, given their “focus on building sustainable and scalable solutions that cities need in order to become truly connected and resilient communities,” Alberto Gomez said. The accelerator program experience will help the San Antonio startup expand its reach beyond Texas and Mexico, its principal markets so far.
“We know that with the support of Arcadis and Techstars, we can continue to develop technologies that provide citizens with the information and tools necessary to ensure that their interests are represented,” Alberto Altamirano said. “Specific support such as technical advice, access to information networks, and funding, will propel us to scale our product globally.”
The startup’s work developing the City of San Antonio’s 311SA interactive civic engagement application was also recognized as one of the world’s top 50 most transformative smart projects for 2019 by the Smart 50 Award international selection committee in January. The Smart 50 Awards, in partnership with Smart Cities Connect, the Smart Cities Connect Foundation, and US Ignite, annually recognize global smart cities projects, honoring the most innovative and influential work.
Each company accepted into the three-month program will receive a $20,000 stipend and a $100,000 convertible note. Mentors with industry, investment, or entrepreneurship experience will help founders scale their business.
The three founders are focused on their program participation while learning about Amsterdam, a city with a municipal government that has its own chief technology officer and an official Amsterdam Smart City initiative.
“Through the Arcadis and Techstars mentor network, we are exploring and learning new strategies to improve our sales and fundraising activities,” Eduardo Bravo said. “But being here creates the perfect environment for startups like ours to thrive and test ideas, particularly about urban innovation.”