Smart City Works Selected for Pioneering Program in Innovation and Government Procurement


September 2017

The Department of Homeland Security’s SCITI Labs initiative helps DHS develop new Smart City and Internet of Things technologies

CONTACT: David Heyman

Smart City Works, a next generation business accelerator that speeds commercialization for early stage urban tech companies, was selected by the Department of Homeland Security to help bring innovative technologies to improve public safety to cities across America

The Department’s Science and Technology Directorate launched the SCITI Labs (a.k.a., Smart City Internet of Things Innovation Labs and pronounced “city labs”) initiative to harness the power of business accelerators and more rapidly develop and deploy cutting-edge Smart City and Internet of Things technologies in support of DHS missions and related public-safety and national-security challenges.

“We are excited to be part of the SCITI Labs initiative,” said David Heyman, co-founder of Smart City Works. “Business accelerators can more rapidly speed the process of innovation for government. And municipalities will greatly benefit from the technologies SCITI Labs will help develop that will make buildings safer, reduce risk to first responders, and save lives.”

The SCITI Labs initiative was created as a partnership between Smart City Works, Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, and TechNexus Venture Collaborative, a Chicago-based accelerator. The initiative is designed to meet the operational needs of DHS components. Its initial focus will be to improve search and rescue capabilities for first responders in commercial buildings by developing a suite of intelligent building sensors; navigation systems for indoor unmanned aerial vehicles; and a wearable communications platform for emergency personnel.

SCITI Labs will select a group of 10-12 companies to participate in the program and provide funding and commercialization support, allowing the companies to rapidly prototype solutions that meet DHS needs. Utilizing a “Commercial First” approach, SCITI Labs will select and support companies to participate in the program, as an investor or business accelerator would. That means focusing on commercial viability and potential; transition and route to market; technical performance; and interoperability, among other key factors. The result is usable, affordable and scalable products that can be brought to market quickly and readily adopted.

Smart City Works, which offers business acceleration, innovation and commercialization programs to dozens of companies each year, will provide leadership in developing the indoor-building sensor platforms, focusing on prototype development, customer discovery and acquisition, and route-to-market strategy.

“This truly is the future of government procurement,” Heyman said. “The business acceleration process allows a lower-cost and lower-risk option for governments to deliver new, needed capabilities faster. For DHS and cities looking to find new and better ways to innovate and, in this case, improve public safety, this initiative is a big win.”

To find out more about Smart City Works, visit or contact


About Smart City Works. Smart City Works is a next generation business accelerator, called a business actuator, that can rapidly move early stage ventures to commercialization, help bring products to market faster, and reduce investor risk. We focus on companies that improve the livability, operations and resilience of cities large and small, with special emphasis on urbantech, IoT devices and the built environment. Smart City Works offers business acceleration, innovation and commercialization programs to support government innovation, and foster rapid growth in companies of all sizes.


About the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT). CIT concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. Founded in 1985, CIT accelerates next generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development initiatives, and expansion of broadband throughout Virginia.


About TechNexus Venture Collaborative. Uniquely aligning relationships in the innovation ecosystem, TechNexus Venture Collaborative finds, funds and grows technology ventures as a force multiplier for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Through accelerating commercial activity for startups and engaging enterprises earlier in the development process, TechNexus catalyzes growth. It has done so for dozens of corporate partners and more than 500 startups. Equal parts entrepreneur, strategist, and investor, TechNexus Venture Collaborative rethinks growth.