The Urban Sustainability Tech Challenge

We connect entrepreneurs, designers, and developers with the data and resources they need to create innovative solutions to neighborhood problems.

From April through September 2017, CNT will bring together a collaborative cohort of entrepreneurs, community members, and technologists with the Urban Sustainability Tech Challenge. CNT will work hand-in-hand with community members to help them navigate the development of solutions to urban sustainability problems, from concept to prototype development, and beyond. The Challenge is a “design-think” challenge—a human-centered approach to innovation that integrates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success. The method focuses on the three main elements of a product or solution: people, technology, and business, all of which evolve around the end user. 

2017 will focus the cohort along CNT’s four pillars—energy, water, transportation, and the built environment. Neighborhood innovators and budding entrepreneurs will collectively design a solution to an urban problem, leveraging CNT data. Possible examples include traffic congestion, flooding, rising energy costs, and aging infrastructure. The cohort will follow a seven-step business development process that can be replicated in the development of subsequent businesses by participants.  The cohort will present their findings to date at CNT’s Sustain-a-City Celebration on September 28, 2017. 

Interested in being a part of the challenge?  To accomplish our goals, we need individuals with a variety of attributes, which could include coding, analytical and/or business development skills, curiosity about entrepreneurship, or experience turning concepts into reality.  We welcome you to engage with us and join the Tech Challenge Cohort. In this journey, you and a group of supportive individuals will be immersed in interesting ideas, working to create a solution that can be utilized in the real world. Who knows, you may even discover a pathway to creating your own product or service to take to market! The possibilities are endless. 
For more information, please fill out this form.

CNT will hold its annual Celebration on September 28, 2017. At the Celebration you’ll be at the forefront of urban innovation, and have an opportunity to share ideas with others who value urban environments that are resilient, sustainable, and livable for people from all walks of life. Presented by Microsoft, the Sustain-a-City Celebration will be hosted by Platinum Sponsor ComcastNBCUniversal at the exciting Studio XFINITY.   Register today!


For information about individual and corporate sponsorship packages for the Challenge and the Celebration, please email Paul Cusimano at or call 773.269.4029.