Dealflow | July 3, 2018

Urban Innovation Fund raises $22.5 million city startup fund

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

The fund was launched by two women—Julie Lein and Clara Brenner—to tackle the challenges of city evolution and an increasingly urban U.S. population. These include everything from transportation and housing to government and civil society.

Urban Innovation Fund backs startups addressing city issues, but also has a unique focus: helping them navigate regulatory requirements. “These startups often face significant regulatory and political push-back. We believe that, in this new era, startup innovation will require regulatory savvy,” the founders wrote.

  • Urban innovation portfolio… Urban Innovation Fund cuts checks up to $500,000 and wants to back 20 to 30 companies with its first fund. It has already invested in 14 companies, including Voatz, a startup addressing election transparency, and BookNook, a support resource for teachers.
  • Returns on inclusion… Urban Innovation Fund’s portfolio companies are majority (70%) run by women and people of color.