U.S. Ignite, the public-private partnership behind the nationwide Smart Gigabit Communities program, is taking a novel approach in a bid to spur development of next-generation Internet and Smart City technologies. Working with local partner organizations, the organization is sponsoring a series of US Ignite reverse pitch events via which gigabit network technologists and entrepreneurs listen to project pitches from civic organizations and then compete for a pool of prizes (cash and in-kind) by designing solutions.

The Smart Gigabit Communities reverse pitch events are taking place in nine of the 15 cities participating in the nationwide program. Each agrees to share their gigabit Internet and smart city technology and solutions throughout the group.

Fifteen communities joined with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch the US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities initiative last June. The goal is to create a nationwide network that will leverage next-generation Internet and Smart City technologies.

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US Ignite is providing the 15 participating cities with relevant information, education and resources for funding and deployment in order to help realize that goal. That includes resources to support the development of two gigabit network applications or public services that address community needs and issues that are to be shared among Smart Gigabit Communities members.

US Ignite Reverse Pitch Events
Commenting on US Ignite’s reverse pitch events, executive director William Wallace in a press release said: “This is an exciting time where ultra-high speed, low latency, software defined networks are enabling us to significantly increase our quality of life in a data-driven and hyper-connected world.

“We are enthusiastic about innovative technology we will see at the upcoming reverse pitch events. We look forward to nurturing and guiding these projects to fruition so that each entrepreneur’s community can realize the full benefits.”

Four US Ignite reverse pitch events have already taken place. The Cisco IoT Challenge in Phoenix, which took place Feb. 11, was the first. The ParaDrop Smart Home Gigabit Challenge 2017 with co-host University of Wisconsin, Madison; the Chattanooga Reverse Pitch Event and the Burlington, Vermont reverse pitch events all took place Feb. 15.

Following are locations and dates for the remaining events:

  • Richardson, TX – Feb. 24
  • Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro, NC (in partnership with NC Next Generation Networks) – Feb. 28
  • Kansas City, MO on March 2 at Google Fiber Space
  • Cleveland, Ohio – March 11

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