2017 Innovate Durham Cohort
The Office of Performance and Innovation partnered with four companies for the first year of Innovate Durham. The program gives startups and entrepreneurs a way to test their products or services using City data and infrastructure. The City received 34 applications from companies interested in participating and a review committee narrowed the field down to four participants. Each company brings a unique and innovative solution to the program.
Brief descriptions from the companies about their technological solutions along with the assigned test-case departments are as follows:
City Department: Transportation
Dropark is an organized alternative to the mayhem of busy city centers - their goal is to reduce the time and stress it takes to find a parking spot. By using innovative technology, they can direct motorists to real-time available parking spaces, and even allow motorists to reserve their parking space ahead of arrival to their destination. Dropark wants to increase the utilization of unused parking spaces, which means they will be partnering with both public and private parking lots. As part of Innovate Durham, they tested their application and sensor technology in two downtown parking lots.
City Department: Human Resources
Talented is a micro-learning app, creating custom learning games for trainers and authors that are engaging and result in real-life skill transfer. As a part of Innovate Durham, City employees played Talented's cyber-security game, helping employees institute better habits across City departments as well as in their personal online practices.
8 Rivers Networks
City Department: Technology Solutions
8 Rivers Networks is a Durham-based company that is being spun out of 8 Rivers Capital, the innovation development organization. 8 Rivers Networks has developed a groundbreaking optical wireless communications system that delivers gigabit speeds over the air where fiber is too difficult or expensive to deploy. As part of Innovate Durham, they connected City Hall and the Parks & Recreation building to increase network capacity and service.
Lucid Dream VR
City Department: Community Development
Lucid Dream builds virtual and augmented reality software applications for large enterprises, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profits. They help forward-thinking leaders and their teams to leverage VR/AR tech to create and scalably deliver immersive experiences that impact audiences on a more visceral level than is achievable with traditional web and screen-based media. As part of Innovate Durham they built a rendering of the Jackson Street affordable housing development project to show what the proposed development will look like.