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 has a goal is to reduce the time and stress it takes to find a parking spot. Their software directs motorists to real-time available parking spaces using a smart phone app and internet of things devices in parking spots. As part of Innovate Durham, they tested their sensor technology for the first time in two downtown parking lots. They were also able to integrate their payment system with the City's financial system to allow for payment processing.
8 Rivers Networks
City Department: Technology Solutions
8 Rivers Networks is an 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 using their technology in an urban environment for the first time. The technology increased network capacity and service for the duration of the pilot period.
Lucid Dream VR
City Department: Community Development
Lucid Dream builds virtual and augmented reality software applications. They leverage VR/AR tech to create and deliver immersive experiences that impact audiences better than traditional web and screen-based media. As part of Innovate Durham they built a virtual reality rendering of a proposed affordable housing development project to show what it would look like. City Council members went through the experience before voting on the project.
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, Talented took about 25 City employees through their cyber-security game. This training helped employees institute better habits across their professional and personal online practices. It also allowed the City to test a new platform for delivering training to employees.