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USTAR Announces Winners of 21st Century Communities Challenge

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative partnered with Salt Lake County Mayor, Ben McAdams and the Sorenson Impact Center to host the 21st Century Communities Challenge Thursday, January 26, 2017. The challenge, a part of the Winter Innovation Summit, was held at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah and featured prominent technology companies from across the United States.

The 21st Century Communities Challenge is a nationwide competition for market-ready, early stage technologies developed for “Smart Cities.” Participants submitted nominations in November, were down-selected to the finalists who gathered in downtown Salt Lake last week to share their innovations with government officials, impact investors and attendees of the Winter Innovation Summit and Sundance Film Festival. Finalists pitched a panel of mayors, including McAdams, Mayor Bryan Barnett of Rochester Hills, Michigan; and Mayor Stephanie Miner of Syracuse, New York; former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore; and Mayor Eileen Weir of Independence, Missouri.

Four finalists and five honorable mention companies were present at the conference including RapidSOS, a New York City based company who won $5,000 for their integrated 911 emergency call smartphone application. Their technology allows for immediate and automatic transfer of location data and other telemetry on 911 calls, enabling dispatchers to quickly locate and send help in emergency situations, increasing the chance of successful rescue.

Blyncsy, a Salt Lake City based mobility tracking company and recent USTAR Technology Acceleration Program (TAP) grant recipient, took 2nd place in the competition and received a $2,500 prize. Their cutting edge technology gathers movement tracking data anonymously, allowing for the improvement of traffic flows within a city. Other finalists included Rapport.io, a sustainability platform for small to medium sized cities, and InsightFormation, a strategic planning platform that aims to improve healthcare and other citywide issues.

“We want to congratulate all of the finalists,” said Donna Milakovic, director of USTAR’s Orem satellite office. “We were pleased to host the nation’s best in Smart Cities technology.  Blyncsy, a Utah company identified as the number two technology, highlights the strength of the Utah technology in this sector.”

USTAR was proud to partner with event sponsors Amazon Web Services, IBM, Sorenson Impact Center and the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office to co-host the 21st Century Communities Challenge. Events like these further establish Utah as a global business destination and highlight local companies, like Blyncsy, who are contributing to the innovation ecosystem within the state.

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