Global Urban Innovators


The New Cities Summit: Thriving Cities held in Songdo, South Korea in June of 2017 featured eight GLOBAL URBAN INNOVATORS (GUIS). New Cities says “Global Urban Innovators is our community of trailblazing international urban tech companies. These startups and social enterprises creatively apply technology to tackle pressing urban challenges. We choose Innovators for their radically new approach to improving cities around the world.”

My presentation of Small Change explained how my crowdfunding portal is helping to fund transformational real estate projects and helping communities to identify and deliver change-making, high-impact urban development.  Every one of the seven other GUIS gave a powerful presentation of their innovative work.

Devin de Vries is co-founder of WhereIsMyTransport which provides an open platform for integrated transport data that provides users, developers, and cities with a comprehensive view of formal and informally run public transportation options, particularly in emerging African cities.

Eyal Feder is CEO of ZenCity, an Artificial Intelligence-based analytics dashboard which tracks social media, municipal platforms and 411 telephone lines to provide city governments with real-time, actionable insights about citizens and municipal services to improve citizen experience of the city.

Grégoire Landel is CEO of CityTaps. City Taps partners with local utility companies by leveraging the Internet of Things and smart water meters to guarantee water access to households, including the urban poor, allowing users to use mobile money to pre-pay for water and secure access directly in their home.

Teo Lee is the CEO of Alt-A which seeks to make spaces shared by human and vehicle traffic safer and smarter. Using 3D mapping, real-time data collection, and intelligent sensor technologies, their alert system increases safety for pedestrians and vehicles alike.

Euwyn Poon is co-founder and President of Spin whose mission is to help people move around cities. Their first product reimagines Bikeshare. Spin’s GPS-equipped smart bikes are unlocked via a mobile app, and can be dropped off at any bike parking spot. By offering a convenient, affordable, and environmentally-friendly mode of transport, Spin aims to reduce congestion and improve last mile transportation in cities.

Victor Splittgerber is CTO of Green City Solutions, the creators of CityTree.  City Tree combines a vertically installed moss culture with Internet of Things technology to address air pollution in cities. Each CityTree has the environmental equivalent of 275 urban trees, at a fraction of the space and maintenance costs.

Kalpana Viswanath is co-founder of Safetipin, a map-based mobile application that works to make cities safer, with a focus on women’s safety. The app collects and disseminates safety-related information to both users and city decision-makers on a large scale through crowdsourcing and geospatial analysis.

It is amazing to be associated with such incredibly innovative people.

My Presentation as a Global Urban Innovator

I was delighted to be one of only eight Global Urban Innovators invited to give a presentation this year at the New Cities Summit: Thriving Cities in Songdo, South Korea. This was a fantastic forum to present Small Change and to explain how our crowdfunding platform works. Watch the video to see how Small Change connects developers with investors and how these projects bring about change in communities.



The 21st annual Pittsburgh Technology Council‘s Tech 50 Awards finalists for “Start-Up of the Year” have been announced and Small Change has been nominated. What an honor!

The Pittsburgh Technology Council (PTC) annual awards recognize “southwestern Pennsylvania’s most successful, innovative, and thought-leading technology companies, which have become the backbone of Pittsburgh’s innovation economy. The awards represent transformative tech companies at all stages of growth.”

We created Small Change to allow everyday people to invest in real estate projects that change cities and neighborhoods for the better. Through the power of crowdfunding – the new community banking –  we’ve so far offered successful real estate projects in Washington DC, Los Angeles, our hometown of Pittsburgh and New Orleans which was the first offering allowing anyone over the age of 18 to invest.

To be nominated by the PTC for this work is recognition that we’re on the right path.

Tech 50 winners will be announced on October 12, 2017 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh. Can’t wait! For more information check the Tech 50 site or follow Tech 50 on Twitter @pghtech and #pghtech50.

The Future of Raising Capital?

HIVE stands for Housing, Innovation, Vision and Economics. I’ll be one of the keynote speakers at the HIVE Conference in Los Angeles this December. The conference will focus on looking at new ways to design, finance and deliver housing in creative and cost-efficient ways to communities. This HIVE article and the video below give an insight into what I’ll be bringing to the conference.