Groups of young startups from around the world gathered in the heart of Seoul this week to present and seek solutions to urban problems.
The second urban innovation challenge competition for city entrepreneurs, or “citypreneurs” was jointly held by agencies of the United Nations and the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
The goal of the competition is to build support and come up with ideas to solve some pressing urban problems that have been identified by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals from inequalities to environment issues.
"As the United Nations, we’ve worked very closely with governments and we will continue to do so. But we recognize that the challenges we face require new thinking, new ideas and new approaches So, I think working on these things we need the energies and ideas of young people."
This year, the competition focuses on green energy, urban mobility and social protection. 150 teams from 36 countries participated in the competition and 10 were given the opportunity to present their ideas to investors, Startup CEOs and government officials.
ATL-A, Nice Vision and WeavAir were three winners and they were awarded with some 21-thousand U.S. dollars and opportunities to receive tech sponsorship and collaborate with the Seoul city government under public contract.
These award-winning projects were smart traffic security system using 3D mapping and intelligence sensor, solar energy tiles, and an automated building management system using AI that can save energy and deal with indoor air pollution.
"We created this smart system that analyzes existing surveillance cameras to detect illegally parked cars and pedestrians. Then, it gives pre-alerts to drivers."
By bringing different sectors together with innovative ideas, this year’s young citypreneurs focused on dealing with urban problems in three areas out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN.
"Because young people will be most affected by the challenges that cities face, the organizers hope this competition will give young people a chance to take a leading role in tackling urban issues in the coming years.
Lee Min Sun, Arirang News."