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4 Gov-Friendly Startups to Watch

Can these companies make a difference in how governments share, conserve and connect?

The smart city market is evolving, its solutions becoming more pragmatic and its benefits more potent. Here are four examples of startups that just might make a big difference in how governments share, conserve and connect.

MuniRent: Helping Goverments to Share

MuniRent is an online reservation platform that enables public agencies to share heavy-duty equipment that sits idle for long stretches of time, both internally and with external agencies. The service, which also tracks reimbursements between sharing agencies, saves money that would otherwise go toward equipment rental and encourages more efficient operations.

Founders: Alan Mond, Julien Vanier
Funding: $25,000 (Code for America Accelerator)
Founded: 2014
Headquarters: Ann Arbor, Mich., and Oakland, Calif.

Ohmconnect: Rewarding Energy Conservation

Ohmconnect is an app that pays consumers for thrifty energy practices. The startup works with energy utility providers to pay consumers cash for conserving energy during peak usage hours. Citizens can see where their energy comes from, track their usage and even connect smart devices to automate energy savings. 

Founders: Matt Duesterberg, Curtis Tongue
Funding: Undisclosed
Founded: 2013
Headquarters: San Francisco

Rachio: Smart Irrigation

Rachio aims to simplify intelligent water use with its smart irrigation controller that users can control from a smartphone or computer, thereby optimizing water use and lowering water bills. According to the company, it’s the first app-based sprinkler controller to be accepted into the EPA’s WaterSense program.

Founders: Franz Garsombke,
Chris Klein, Matt Reisman
Funding: $3.4 million
Founded: 2012
Headquarters: Denver

Veniam: The Internet of Moving Things

Veniam answers the question of how to provide free Wi-Fi service across an entire city. The platform does this by turning fleets of city vehicles like garbage trucks and buses into Wi-Fi hot spots.
Vehicles grab a Wi-Fi signal attached to infrastructure around a city and then relay that signal to disperse Wi-Fi to the public.

Founders: João Barros, Susana Sargento,
Roy Russell, Robin Chase
Funding: $4.9 million
Founded: 2012
Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.