WASHINGTON, DC – Today, US Ignite, Inc. announced that it will co-host and sponsor series of Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) Reverse Pitch Competitions – competitions that are focused on empowering local change makers to ideate and develop innovative gigabit applications. US Ignite is a nonprofit that spurs the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities program is creating “living lab” environments for the next generation of gigabit applications.

US Ignite’s Reverse Pitch Competition turns the tables on the traditional incentive prize competition by providing local businesses, city governments, and civic organizations a creative platform present their unique challenges to their Smart Gigabit Community’s innovative minds. Reverse Pitches provide community entrepreneurs and developers the opportunity, partnerships, and resources for exclusive collaborations on groundbreaking work to develop, deploy, and share gigabit applications that will impact areas of national priority, including transportation, advanced manufacturing, education, public safety, healthcare, and energy.

“We live in a technology-driven economy. This is an exciting time where advanced networks build the foundation for smart communities, enabling us to significantly increase our quality of life,” said William Wallace, Executive Director of US Ignite. “We are enthusiastic about collaboration, partnerships, and gigabit solutions we will see at the upcoming Reverse Pitch events. We look forward to nurturing and guiding these projects so that each Smart Gigabit Community can realize the full benefits of next-generation gigabit applications.”

For this round of Smart Gigabit Community Reverse Pitches, US Ignite is pleased to partner with Experimental Civics, a global consultancy supercharging future focused programs to deliver targeted technical assistance, resources, and event aid to the participating Smart Gigabit Communities. “Understanding that all Smart Gigabit Communities need to bring the community along with them for this journey is where we fit in,” said Sarah Sharif, Founder and CEO of Experimental Civics. “Our partnership this year is focused on empowering our civic leaders to not only learn about the possibilities of gigabit technology, but to also invite all community members to help shape these new applications.”

The following eight Smart Gigabit Communities have confirmed their Reverse Pitch events will be held between February 2018 and June 2018, with even more Reverse Pitch events to be announced by Smart Gigabit Communities in the coming weeks:

  • San Diego, California, hosted by CyberTECH, Cleantech San Diego, and the City of San Diego (scheduled for February 15, 2018)
  • Madison, Wisconsin, hosted by the University of Wisconsin (scheduled for February 22, 2018)
  • Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, hosted by University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, HackIllinois, and Big Data Hubs (scheduled for February 23-25, 2018)
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, hosted by Utah Ignite (scheduled for March 1, 2018)
  • Burlington, Vermont, hosted by BTV Ignite (scheduled for March 2018 or April 2018)
  • Flint, Michigan, hosted by Factory Two (scheduled for April 21, 2018)
  • Kansas City, Missouri, hosted by KC Digital Drive (scheduled for April 26, 2018)
  • Adelaide, Australia, hosted by the University of South Australia and the Government of South Australia (scheduled for the last week of April 2018)

The Smart Gigabit Communities program is a collaboration among US Ignite, universities, municipalities, community anchor institutions like hospitals and schools, nonprofits, network carriers and ISPs. Together, these organizations are focused on developing smart gigabit applications that address local community needs, such as education, workforce development, public safety, community health, smart energy and transportation. Each member of the program has committed to develop two gigabit applications or gigabit services per year that provide advanced technology solutions to issues faced by that community. They also agree to share those applications with the others in the Smart Gigabit Communities program.

For more information on the challenges each community will tackle, please view the Smart Gigabit Communities Reverse Pitch page.

About US Ignite, Inc.

US Ignite, Inc. spurs the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities. US Ignite is a nonprofit organization that connects communities using advanced technology, develops next-generation smart city apps, and develops networks to drive economic opportunities.  US Ignite, Inc.’s Smart Gigabit Communities program accelerates the adoption of ultra-fast, programmable fiber and wireless networks as the bedrock of smart communities by identifying new economic and social opportunities created by those networks. US Ignite, Inc., together with Northeastern University, also now operates the National Science Foundation-funded Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Project Office (PPO), coordinating a $100 million public-private partnership of federal agencies and over 30 leading companies and technology associations supporting the deployment of wireless research platforms in multiple communities across the United States. Together, these collaborative efforts among research universities, local communities and industry will yield breakthroughs in new wired and wireless networking technology. The applications and services that result from this work will help enrich residents’ lives while generating improved, potentially transformative, community services, investment in high-growth startups, and high-skilled jobs.

About Experimental Civics

Experimental Civics is a global consultancy that services future focused programs (Smart City to Digital Inclusion initiatives), so clients can focus on building their community ecosystems without getting caught up in logistics. Our mission is to empower global communities as they shape their technological future and revolutionize civic engagement.