John Farr


Startups and SMEs in Smart Cities

7 May 2015

Entrepreneurship tools and principles to exploit urban data

Jyoti Banerjee & Gerd Kortuem The hardest part of starting a new technology business is taking the first step. This is made doubly difficult when the new ideas relate to Smart Cities, a new and sharp way of thinking about how cities and their citizens can use technology and information to achieve their goals. Milton Keynes, the UK’s fastest-growing city, is a leading British exponent of Smart Cities thinking and actions. This one-day course, created as part of the MK:Smart programme, is designed to help you learn how to exploit commercial opportunities around urban data, using modern entrepreneurship tools to drive the creation and growth of your new technology business.

Course outline

    1.    Introduction (Download Course Introduction (G Kortuem))

  • Who is this course for and what will you get out of it?
  • Introducing MK:Smart, the Smart Cities programme in Milton Keynes

     2.    Understanding urban problems (Download Understanding Urban Problems (J Banerjee))

  • Planetary megatrends and how they are causing problems in urban settings
  • The urban challenges facing Milton Keynes
  • Why cities cannot solve their own problems: exploring the external and internal risks cities face

    3.    Employing data to solve urban problems ( Download Employing data to solve urban problems (G Kortuem))

  • Understanding the urban data landscape, including what is on offer in Milton Keynes
  • Identifying business opportunities around the data value chain
  • Issues in handling and managing data, including rights management, licensing and quality

    4.    Building a data-led business that solves urban problems ( Download Building a data-led business that solves urban problems (J Banerjee))

  • Mapping the processes of an entrepreneurial business
  • Tools to address each entrepreneurship process step
  • Developing a business canvas for a data-led SME or start-up

    5.    End of session

  • Next steps
  • Summary and wrap-up
  • Feedback

Course Faculty

The course was taught by an academic and software professional (Prof Gerd Kortuem and an entrepreneur working in software, social enterprise and sustainability (Jyoti Banerjee  Both are on the project board of MK:Smart (, a Smart Cities programme in Milton Keynes, managed by the Open University and funded by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE).  Gerd and Jyoti have extensive experience in creating courses and curricula for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Among other programmes, they created and taught the Software Entrepreneurship course for MBA and science PhDs at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Course duration: one day Location: University Campus Milton Keynes, 502 Avebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 3HS Date: June 26, 2015 Timing: 10am to 4pm Status: Completed


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