CITYLab Entrepreneurs

Aug 18 · 3 min read

Come build an urban startup with us

Do you care about the future of your city? Do you want to be a part of shaping it? Are you an entrepreneur at heart? Do you like to build things along with others? Maybe we should talk.

We cofound urban startups with entrepreneurs. We are establishing urban venture studios (CITYLabs) in Rio de Janeiro, Kathmandu and Lagos with plans for other cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Each CITYLab is a platform meant to build and back urban startups and solutions to make the city better for the many, not just the few. Everything we do is early stage. Sometimes the Utopia team may come up with the idea and find a cofounder to build the startup together. Other times, someone may have recently founded an urban startup and want the CITYLab to help build the company together. Engaging each other is an organic process. Do you have an urban idea you’re like to work on together? Or do you have interest in joining one of the urban startups we’re developing?

What We’re Looking For

Utopia considers a few key aspects when looking at cofounders of CITYLab startups.

  • Entrepreneurship. We look to jointly build urban startups with those who have an entrepreneurial mindset and create new value in the world.
  • Initiative. The cofounder is leading the team. The startup will move at their pace. Will they take on ownership and show dedication to their work?
  • Creativity. Have they consistently come up with creative solutions to the challenges in their lives?
  • Track Record. Do they have a track record that demonstrates they’ve been able to make progress on whatever they were working on? Have they built a broad network?
  • Character. Is the cofounder well regarded? Have they demonstrated building trust with those around them? Are they collaborative? What are others saying about them?

What Cofounders Can Expect

You can expect that once we both make the decision to work together, we are fully committed to you and to the success of the company. We aim to help shape the positive future of cities and believe entrepreneurship can play a meaningful role.

  • Collaboration Partner. We collaborate with cofounders in the earliest stage, to co-build the team and go from idea to prototype and on to acquiring the first 1000 customers.
  • Silicon Valley Portal. We provide an open invitation for our urban startup teams to work out of our studio in downtown San Francisco for a month or two at a time. This can enable you to build your network and where possible, we’ll make introductions to investors and potential urban startup partners.
  • International Ecosystem. We’ll plug you into an international ecosystem of company builders and resources, experts and mentors.
  • Introductions to Urban Startups. We’ve developed relationships with many urban startups around the world. There is potential to license technology from some of these startups to give you a head start in your city.
  • Global Network of CITYLabs. We’re developing CITYLab platforms across Africa, Asia and Latin America. This offers the potential to scale the urban solution across regions.
  • Platform Services. We provide workspace and hands-on operational support.
  • Funding. We jointly look for investment into the urban startup.

How We Run The Show

Opening our insides to you


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Utopia is an urban innovation group for emerging cities and their slums

How We Run The Show

Opening our insides to you

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