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How the Journey of Data Can Transform Cities

- December 12, 2014 - 0 Comments

In the modern world, terms like “big data”and “open data”are making their way from tech industry forums and into local innovation initiatives across cities.

And Kansas City, MO., is no exception. Earlier this year, Think Big Partners– based in the City of Fountains and aspiring to be one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the United States –began a new collaboration with Cisco to architect a new open data portal that will be complete with some of the city’s public data sets, and eventually data from participants in this broader initiative. The goal of this portal is to help the entrepreneurial community gain easy access to relevant data in order to cull and develop their own creative Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

This new portal is one component of a larger effort for Think Big Partners, Cisco and other innovative companies to work together to manage a Kansas City “living lab” for entrepreneurs and start-ups from all over the country to tap into. The lab is designed to incubate an open ecosystem for these entrepreneurs, innovation partners and other members of the start-up community to develop new applications and technologies to address some of Kansas City’s biggest challenges. The opportunity to deploy these emerging technologies onto a larger scale, industrial platform and test them will accelerate IoT innovation through a unique commercialization model.

During the Global Editors Conference this week, where I virtually participated in a media roundtable hosted at San Jose State University on how the Internet of Everything is impacting public sector, I spoke about how Think Big Partners and Cisco are helping to create a new journey for data and IoT innovation using the new data portal as the vessel for this journey.

This new open data portal will serve as an intersection for entrepreneurs to not only have easy access to the data available, but to help the data continue on its journey to the community through the form of new apps.

Applications that have already emerged as near term, high potential candidates include smart parking, using video as a sensor, and sensors that improve delivery of municipal services especially in the area of water.

Think Big has a history of working as an innovation partner for large companies and will use the living lab, along with our Internet of Things Innovation Lab, to short circuit proof of concept challenges for entrepreneurs while testing new technologies using actual use cases. The combination of data, devices and expertise will yield powerful results at a fraction of the historical costs of commercialization technology.

As we approach 2015, I look forward to seeing this data and applications continue on its journey as the Internet of Things entrepreneur community continues to innovate and create new apps that will enhance the lives of Kansas City residents and in turn, transform cities.

Follow the conversation on Twitter with @ThinkBigKC and #CiscoGEC

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