We hope you have been having an amazing holiday season so far and are gearing up to say good riddance to 2016, ahem, sorry, to welcome 2017! But seriously, in the face of the many potentially threatening environmental, housing, energy, and other sustainability-related policy changes to come, cities - at the local level - must rise to the occasion...the good news is that we - and many others - believe cities are ready for the challenge!
For our part, while this past year certainly had its ups and downs (which is pretty much par for the course in the startup world anyway!), we took a number of exciting "steps" that will significantly help us help you make the case for better places. We are eager to be your data-driven, evidence-based placemaking champions (yes, facts still matter!) and partner with you in overcoming whatever challenges you face!
Please join us in commemorating the bright spots (yes, there were actually many) of 2016 and enjoy a little sneak peek into what we've got in store for the ever-anticipated 2017...
Please enjoy our highlight reel!
State of Place is Awarded an SBIR Grant from the NSF!
Wow, did we start the year off with a BANG. We could not have been happier to hear we were awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation and Research grant from the National Science Foundation! This $150K grant allowed us to create the beta version (or in startup speak, minimum viable product - MVP) of our State of Place platform, conduct in-depth customer development, and hire our first five employees! We did indeed hit the big leagues...or is it bigly? (Sorry, couldn't' help it!). We're now prepping our Phase II application, which will help us graduate to Big DATA status...more on that later...For now, see how we used your Phase I money below!
Not One But TWO MVPs...
This year, we not only launched the first (minimum viable product - MVP) version of the software, we launched the second one too (screenshots below)! Now technically, the second version is still in "stealth" mode but some of you lucky urbanists have gotten a super exclusive preview (well, not exclusive really - they just booked a demo call with us)...We will be officially launching by the end of January...oooh, exciting, no? Stay tuned...or get your "VIP" urbanist demo too!
You Talked Our Ears OFF! Like for 7000+ minutes!
Like good little Lean Startupers, we actually got "out of the building" and spoke to YOU - over 150 cities, developers, investors, architects, urban designers - to better understand the biggest challenges and pitfalls you face in creating great places! We now truly get your pain!! And have designed a solution to address the biggest hurdles you face - convincing those pesky naysayers (with DATA!) AND identifying projects that will boost the public good and the public purse! But we're not done - we want to keep talking to you to figure out how our platform can best empower you to create, champion and deliver irresistible places! Please book a time to chat with us and tell us about your placemaking challenges!
We've collected a LOOOOT of Data!
As you would expect for a "predictive urban data analytics" startup, we've been amassing a LOT of data, and 2016 was no exception. We now have nearly 1.7 Million data points, across nearly 6000 blocks, in almost 150 neighborhoods, across Miami, West Palm Beach, Houston, Los Angeles, Orange County, Boston, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Detroit, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, San Jose, Istanbul, Birmingham (UK), Shanghai, Hangzhou, and counting! The best part is, the more data we collect, the smarter and more accurate our place quality measure and predictive ROI models become - and the more places you can benchmark your city against! Find out how your community can be included and/or how you can be trained to collect data!
Ready For Our Close Ups!
We had SO much fun creating this video of our awesome team, representing Shanghai, Detroit, Charlotte, Chicago, and New York City! There's even a cool demo of the first MVP in there. Travel 6000+ miles in less than five minutes and find out why we're so passionate about making places better and how we use data and analytics to help you make the case for great places! Also, we cannot mention our team without giving a shout out to the fantastic group of interns we've had the honor to mentor this year. Please meet our current group of emerging place lovers and data geeks and find out how you can join us in 2017!
You Like Us, You Really Like Us!
Despite having spent the first half of the year in deep development mode and not yet having officially "launched," we welcomed FOUR cities into our State of Place family this year...and we're very close to "adopting" more of you into our growing datageek clan!! We'll soon release an awesome case study to showcase how we helped the City of Tigard harness the power of data and analytics to think more strategically about their redevelopment strategies, evaluate different scenarios, and identify the projects with the biggest bang for their buck! Stay tuned for more updates on our awesome new customers...and the others in the works! What to join the fam? See how we can help you make your placemaking wishes come true in 2017!
Eight is NOT Enough!
This week marks the EIGHTH consecutive week that we've brought you our blog - and we are committed to keeping it up (every Tuesday from now on)! The whole State of Place team has caught the writing bug and has covered a broad array of topics, ranging from of course, walkability both in the US and abroad, our commitment to data, our pedestrian misadventures, and interestingly, lots of urbanist-related shopping tips...wonder if that has something to do with the fact that State of Place is 4/5ths (nasty) women! We're stoked to be getting such positive feedback from you all. It's so much better when you know you're not talking to a wall, so please keep the comments (positive or constructive) coming! Check out our most read blog of the year about when and when not to use Walk Score as a proxy to measure walkability!
Thank you all SO much for believing in the power of place! We promise to remain your committed champions in making the case for and delivering irresistible places in 2017 and beyond!