Smart Cities Connect  Conference & Expo

MAY 8-10, 2024 | RALEIGH, NC


Smart Cities Startup Challenge - 11th Annual
We want to share your technology with our community!

In alignment with the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act ($550 Billion), National Security Strategy, and National Defense Strategy, TechConnect and Smart Cities Connect are proud to partner with the RISE Consortium for the 10th annual Smart Cities Startup Challenge.


2023 Supporting Partners

Blackhorn Ventures
MUUS Climate Partners
Next Frontier Capital
RISE Consortium
Urban Innovation Fund

Meet 2023 participants!


2023 Review Panelists

Ian Aaron Ian Aaron
CEO, Ubicquia

Jodie Brinkerhoff Jodie Brinkerhoff
VP of Innovation, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Eric Drummond Eric Drummond
CEO/Founder, Innovation Corridor Investments

Andrew Felbinger Andrew Felbinger
Principal, Urban Innovation Fund
Tim Fowler Tim Fowler

David Graham David Graham
Chief Innovation Officer, City of Carlsbad, CA

Logan Grizzle Logan Grizzle
Partner, MUUS Climate Partners
Scott Haase Scott Haase
Senior Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Paul Hoekstra Paul Hoekstra
Mobility BU Director U.S.A., TNL U.S.A.
Don Jacobson Don Jacobson
IT Business Partner for Innovation, City of Las Vegas, NV
Monali Mujumdar Monali Mujumdar
Startup Engagement Lead and Program Operations, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Flo Raitano Flo Raitano
Director of Partnership Development and Innovation, Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG)

Dave Rios Dave Rios
DTIC-IAC Field Advisor, USCENTCOM, Cloud Lake Technology, LLC

Amanda Rohrer Amanda Rohrer
Senior Associate, Blackhorn Ventures
Kirsten Suddath Kirsten Suddath
General Partner, Next Frontier Capital (NFC)

Carlos Tamayo Carlos Tamayo
Innovation Manager, City of Colorado Springs, CO

Art Thompson Art Thompson
Chief Information Officer, City of Detroit, MI


How to Participate:


  1. Submissions Opening Soon.
  2. If selected to pitch, choose your registration participation option!

Questions about the Startup Challenge? Contact Emma Mooney, Outreach and Project Manager

Click HERE for a detailed guide of the 2023 program

The RISE Consortium accelerates key technologies and communities supporting the nation's infrastructure, energy, mobility, resilience, and security initiatives. RISE is managed by Advanced Technologies International (ATI), the Nation's leading R&D organization overseeing an extensive portfolio of Other Transaction Authority (OTA) and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) consortia and innovation funding vehicles.


Ways to Participate

Business Pitch
Share your technology with experts in government, military and industry. You will have 5 minutes to highlight one of your company's technologies. This will be followed by valuable feedback, questions, and concerns from the experts you want to hear from to take your company to the next level

Demos and Drinks
Enjoy 10 drink tickets that you can share during happy hour in our expo hall. During this time, city, industry, investment, and military leadership will be directed towards showcase tables, one of which designated to your technology. This will help to gain your team additional exposure.

Smart Cities Booth
Upgrading to a booth from showcase table provides your company with a 10X10 station where you can share your technology for the full 2-day exhibition. Along with having a larger area to display your technology, exposition booths have prime placement. Additionally, city, industry, investment, and military leadership will be directed to visit your booth, helping gain your team maximum exposure.

For more information please contact Jennifer Rocha, (Vice President, Strategic Partnerships) at

Past Sponsors & Partners (view past Startup Finalists)

Past Sponsors & Partners

Produced by    

In Partnership with  US Ignite

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