Guelph, Ont., August 17, 2016 – The City of Guelph’s new Civic Accelerator, which turns the City into a research, development and commercialization lab for civic technology, has selected winners for the Planning Notifications and Water Data challenges issued on June 20. Employees from the winning companies—Alert Labs and Milieu—will embed in City departments to accelerate the development of their solutions starting in September.
“The Civic Accelerator is a new approach to tackling old problems as we continue to find innovative ways to deliver the best possible service to our residents,” says City of Guelph Chief Administrative Officer, Derrick Thomson. “I’d like to congratulate and thank Alert Labs and Milieu for their exciting proposals. We’re looking forward to seeing their solutions develop while they collaborate with staff over the next few months.”
For the third challenge, parking modernization, the City did not move forward with a winner because the proposals received wouldn’t provide sufficient mutual benefit for both sides through the embed process, a key requirement for success under the Accelerator model.
Alert Labs responded to the water challenge with a proposal for real-time alerts sent to a customer’s phone for emergencies like floods or leaks based on sensors that require zero technical skill to install.
“Alert Labs is thrilled to be selected as the Solution Partner of choice for the Civic Accelerator’s Water Usage Data Challenge,” said George Tsintzouras, CEO, Alert Labs Inc. “We’re excited by the opportunity to positively impact the residents of Guelph by identifying sources of wasted water in their homes and by helping to conserve water and reduce water bills. Being embedded in the program will give us direct access to City professionals in Water Services, which will enable us to provide a better, more targeted solution.”
Planning notifications challenge
Milieu responded to the planning notifications challenge with a proposal for a web and mobile application that connects citizens, urban developers and City officials in order to collectively work toward creative and evidence-based planning decisions.
“The timing of the Civic Accelerator could not be better for us as we seek to further develop and then fully launch our exciting new platform, which we feel improves results for everyone involved in planning and development,” said Lee-Michael Pronko, Co-founder and CEO of Milieu. “Ultimately, a simple but effective consultation and information flow tool can unlock citizen participation and make city planning both better and easier.”
- August 17 to September 1: City prepares for embedding external employees
- September 5 to December 5: Alert Labs and Milieu work with City employees and Accelerator partners to build, refine and test solutions
- Early December: solutions are demonstrated
About the Civic Accelerator
The Civic Accelerator is a partnership with Innovation Guelph, Canada’s Open Data Exchange, Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the Guelph Lab and the University of Guelph’s CBaSE. The Accelerator enables the City to work with entrepreneurs, startups, students and companies to create innovative solutions for complex municipal challenges.
- Twitter: @alertlabsinfo web: alertlabs.com
- Twitter: @MilieuCities web: milieu.io
- Guelph pilot project rolls out welcome mat to open data entrepreneurs By Kevin Tuer from Canada’s Open Data Exchange
- Civic innovation and open data: a recipe for change in Public Sector Digest
- Civic Accelerator on the web
- Civic Accelerator video
- More information on the challenges