Urban Business Model Search


Urban Business Model Search

submission deadline extended: Wednesday, October 12, 11:59 p.m.

Innovative entrepreneurs all over the world are identifying and serving the needs of urban communities via for-profit businesses.  Often, these tenacious, creative business professionals develop novel, interesting business models that produce outstanding financial results while improving the quality of life in an urban community. A prime, high-profile example of a successful urban-focused business model is the ride-sharing service Uber.  Another is ShotSpotter, a company that provides automatic gunshot detection and police dispatch notification in cities.  Innovative urban-focused companies abound, and they range in size from tiny startups to multi-billion dollar behemoths.  Your task, in the Urban Business Model Search, is to find and document these urban-focused businesses, wherever they may exist in the world, so that students and entrepreneurs can learn from their example.  By doing so, you will gain valuable experience, meet and talk with some interesting entrepreneurs, and quite possibly put some money in your pocket.

The tool we will use for documenting the business models of these urban-focused businesses is Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas.  We would like you to enter the detailed business model information about the business you wish to document in the form below. Then, we would like you to present a synopsis of this information on a beautiful business model canvas and attach it in PDF, JPG, or PNG format.  You may download a business model canvas template here, or create your own canvas.  You can even create your beautiful canvas on a big poster with sticky notes, and then submit a picture of it (as long as it is readable).  You can also attach one or two pictures of the business and/or it’s products.

We will recognize, present on our web site, and give awards to the “best” business models we receive. What constitutes “best?”  Well, here are some criteria:

  • the business you document primarily serves the needs of an urban community
  • your business model documentation is complete
  • the business model information you provide is clear and concise
  • the business model is novel and interesting
  • the business model represents a profitable, sustainable business
  • the Business Model Canvas you produce is accurate and beautiful

Additional consideration will be given to business models that address the optional elements in the form, including a contact at the subject business, and additional information about the business beyond that contained in the Business Model Canvas, and one or two photos. UEI will make the final determination for any and all prize awards.


Prizes and Recognition

The business model documentation that we judge to be “best” will receive a cash prize of $500.00.  The second place entry will receive $250.00.  We will select eight additional entries and award a prize of $100.00 each.

Most of the form fields below are self-explanatory, or are defined in the Business Model Generation Preview document. The information you include in the optional “additional information” section goes beyond what is included in the Business Model Canvas, and might include information such as the following:

  • information on industry and competitive forces
  • how the founder(s) identified the problem that their business solves
  • how the founder(s) achieved initial sales, and subsequently grew the business
  • what pitfalls the founder(s) encountered, and how they overcame

So there you have it!  Let’s see what kinds of interesting, exciting urban-focused business models we can find!

Note: by submitting this information to the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, you are granting us an unrestricted release to use the information as we see fit.  You also represent that your submission does not include confidential information.


Urban Business Model Information

click here to download Business Model Canvas poster as PDF file.

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