UrbanLogiq won the 2017 City Innovation prize for their cloud-based platform that makes urban planning more efficient. Since then they’ve gone to Barcelona’s Smart City Expo and World Congress, were finalists in the BCIC IoT Challenge, have closed five new clients, and more.
Interview with Co-Founder Herman Chandi.
What’s your company’s quick elevator pitch: what do you do, and why are you passionate about it?
UrbanLogiq is a cloud-based platform that aggregates, automates, adds, and analyzes data for governments. Our mission is to unlock the value of data trapped in government silos to make urban planning faster, cheaper and more efficient.
What stage was your startup at when you entered the BCIC-New Ventures Competition? Did you expect to be in the running for top prizes?
We were at on the cusp between pre-seed and seed stage – we were in the experimentation mode to see if our technology and our idea was something the market and the public was interested in. That was how we approached the competition. If we won anything it would have been just gravy for us.
How have you used your prize money?
The prize money funded bringing the entire team to Barcelona for the Smart City Expo and World Congress. It was an unbelievable experience to have the entire team – from the business developers to the software developers – to see the market first hand and to be exposed to some of the most forefront discussions and thought leaders in our space.
Any updates or successes you can share since completing the Competition?
Since the competition we have gained considerable customer momentum. We were announced to be finalists in the BCIC IoT Challenge with the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure; we have since closed five additional clients in Canada and the US (to be announced soon); and we have also finalized partnership agreements with some of the world’s most recognized brands (also to be announced soon).
What was the best feedback from a mentor, juror or fellow competitor that you received?
That government is really hard to sell to and you have to be able to sustain a long sales cycle, in terms of both patience and cash flow. That said, the fact we’ve seen this much success this early on is a good sign – we have a product that government sees value in, to the point that they want to pay for it and implement it relatively speedily.
What tips do you have for this year’s BCIC-New Ventures competitors?
To really understand your customers. That will always come first and will, in the end, determine whether you can build a viable business. Get to know how others are approaching customer relationships both after they’ve gone through the pipeline or pre-pipeline.
Any other comments you’d like to share?
We’re thankful for the opportunity to be recognized by the City Innovation Award. We are thrilled to have won a prize that recognizes government technology (govtech) is a burgeoning industry that deserves recognition, education, and attention to future entrepreneurs who are looking for their niche. New Ventures BC has made our jobs as pioneers in this space just that much easier.