Dear City made it to SLUSH 2016! – Københavns Universitet

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16. december 2016

Dear City made it to SLUSH 2016!

By Rafael Bayarri-Olmos and Mia Huzvarova, Dear City co-founders

Founder stage during the first day of SLUSH. Over just two days, the six stages hosted more than 150 talks.

Dear City IVS is a start-up aiming at creating smarter cities by democratizing urban development. In collaboration with urban planners, architects, and designers, we are developing a list of innovative urban solutions to tackle challenges found in communities all around Denmark.

While municipalities strive to create safe, engaging, and inclusive environments for these communities, their effort is often hindered by the lack of effective communication between the city and its citizens; Municipalities are unaware of their citizens’ needs, and citizens are unaware of their municipalities’ efforts.

By raising awareness of novel urban solutions and involving citizens in the decision-making process, Dear City is set up to create the cities of tomorrow, a place for people by people that better represents the needs of the community.

Dear City is part of UCPH Innovation Hub, a place for young entrepreneurs from the University of Copenhagen to bring their ideas to life. It has a great community of earnest students and supportive mentors (we can’t recommend it highly enough to any student looking to create his own company). For us it has been an priceless experience.

The mentorship and generous feedback that we have received there, steered us in the right track and granted us our first rewards. Within the past few months, Dear City won 1st place at Gate21 Smart city Hackathon, established partnerships with several municipalities, was awarded an office in Albertslund’s town hall, and was selected by the University of Copenhagen as recipient of the Proof-of-concept grant that will help us further develop our idea.

Together with 10 other entrepreneurs, one of our co-founder headed to Helsinki last week to attend the SLUSH conference. It is Europe’s leading start-up event, a melting pot of tech geeks, investors, journalists and entrepreneurs. In just two days, one could get a sneak peek at the future of healthcare, energy, fintech, communication…all facilitated by a seamless organization.

We are impressed by the amount of information one is exposed to in such a short time. It is exhausting and incredibly rewarding at the same time. We built new relationships with other Nordic start-ups in a way just possible by being there, by simply being present. Having the opportunity to talk with so many enthusiastic entrepreneurs and to connect in a personal level is something just not possible to do by email.

Although we missed some talks we wanted to listen to, we very much enjoyed the SLUSH 100 pitching competition. It was inspiring to see so many experienced start-ups presenting and defending their ideas in front of a jury. At the end of the day we got many ideas home. And who knows? With a bit of luck, we may be in that stage next year!