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Former city leaders invest in urban startups

Former Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia is a strategic partner in a firm that will invest in startup companies focused on making cities more efficient. (Wikimedia Commons)

A new venture capital firm backed by former city leaders will fund disruptive ideas designed to make cities safer, smarter and more inclusive.

Ekistic Ventures plans to invest $US15 million over the next three years in 15 fledgling startups, according to a statement from the Chicago-based firm.

The new venture will focus on early-stage companies that harness data, analytics and technology. The firm explains here that it is open to funding projects that tackle everything from safer streets and affordable housing to government transparency and improved health and wellness.

Strategic partners include Michael Nutter, Philadelphia’s mayor from 2008 to January of this year. The co-founders also have backgrounds as city officials. Brett Goldstein served as Chicago’s first Chief Data Officer. David Spielfogel was a senior advisor to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Spielfogel explains that many young entrepreneurs do not know how to transform their ideas into viable businesses. “We want to work actively with them to turn a smart solution into a successful company,” he says in the statement, which is not available online.

More about the launch here.

Ekistic Ventures

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