2016: Year in Review
To say the least, 2016 was an interesting year, and the world certainly seems to share in the sentiment of a cathartic sendoff of 2016, excitedly moving on to 2017 without looking back. Urban Intelligence had its fair share of ups and downs in 2016, as is typical of startup life, but, overall, we made some great strides and are bigger, stronger, and wiser than we were at the beginning of the year. A few of Urban Intelligence’s key moments from 2016:
We built a team.
Dan, founder of Urban Intelligence, hired Yeonhwa for Product and Ronan for Business Development in February. The team was joined by Julio for our Tech in April and by Chris for GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in September. We now have a full team, with each member bringing unique value toward our success.
We completed Pi Labs’ accelerator programme.
Selected to be among the chosen five out of over 200 startups, Urban Intelligence went through Pi Labs’ 3-month accelerator programme from May to July, during which we refined our proposition, made valuable connections, and solidified our place in the prop-tech sector.
We officially launched Howard and gained our first paying customers.
Howard, our planning policy information service, officially launched in December after several months of beta testing. Although December was a short sales month given the festive period, we gained a number of paying customers and are continuing to receive constructive feedback on the product. January sees us hitting the road full sell.
We began work on Abercrombie, our interactive planning policy map.
We embarked on Abercrombie, our ambitious project to bring together development plan spatial data and other environmental data, and link it to its policy context. With Abercrombie, users will be able to pan across administrative boundaries to see fully interactive planning policy maps, click on a site, and access relevant planning policies — all on a single platform. Users are seeing the first iterations in the coming weeks, and Beta Launch is scheduled for March 2017.
We became an official partner of Ordnance Survey.
Urban Intelligence entered into a partnership with Ordnance Survey (OS), which allows us to develop and test our products using OS’ map data for free. In addition, with the partnership, we successfully obtained OS’ explicit consent to local authorities’ releasing development plan policy spatial data (containing derived data from OS MasterMap) free of royalties for our product. As a startup innovating with spatial data, the partnership is a key breakthrough, and we are feeling confident with OS’ support on our side.
We were featured in various publications and secured the opportunity to contribute to a monthly tech column in The Planner in 2017.
Named one of prop-tech’s rising stars, Urban Intelligence appeared in several publications in 2016, including Tech City News, Estates Gazette, and The Planner. In addition, after much discussion with The Planner, which boasts over 23,000 monthly readers, we secured the opportunity to contribute to a new monthly tech column in the magazine (both print and online) in the new year. We actively evangelised the need for data-driven tools in the property industry, and we will continue to do so in 2017!
2016 was a lot of things for a lot of people. For Urban Intelligence, it was a year of growth, in terms of our team, our product, our user base, our network, and our brand. We are thrilled to see what 2017 has in store for us, and we will be working hard to reap the most out of it. Stay tuned!
Author: Yeonhwa Lee
Yeonhwa holds a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from the University of Pennsylvania and a MSc in International Planning from the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. Yeonhwa is passionate about cities and planning, both how we plan and what we plan for. She leads our Product Development team at Urban Intelligence, ensuring that our systems are up to date and adapting to user feedback, whilst simultaneously driving us towards our future development goals.