Creighton had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Robert Monster, CEO of DigitalTown on his ambitions for his SmartCity project, and they will blow your mind! The project is built on Blockchain technology and will incorporate a new digital currency to be air dropped in early 2018. The new coin will be used to operate within the system to take advantage of the numerous benefits that it includes. So far, 22,000 SmartCities have been integrated into the global network with full functionality coming worldwide early 2018! Of all the coins and all the blockchain projects out there, DigitalTown is hands down one of the most promising. But don’t take my word for it, just listen to what Robert has to say.
As a successful business executive having worked for Procter & Gamble, what lead you to take the helm at DigitalTown?
DigitalTown is a preexisting public company. I was invited by the Board of Directors to come on board. I actually have never run a public company before, so this was an interesting opportunity. DigitalTown was already a client of one of my other companies, Epik, which is a full-service registrar, similar to Godaddy. So as a result of that engagement, I was impressed with the board and they gave me free reign to set the strategy. With that I came on board in May of 2015, and in September of 2015 I laid out a plan for the board, that there would be an opportunity to create a global SmartCity platform that would allow any city to become a SmartCity. They approved that agenda and in 2016 we had it funded and we’re off to the races, with 5 acquisitions since.
For those who don’t know what a SmartCity is, can you explain what a SmartCity is?
A SmartCity is not very well defined yet. The whole point of it is the idea to use digital technologies to be able to connect stake-holders to cocreate quality of life. That is probably the highest level definition. For some cities it comes in the form of technologies like smart street lights and smart trash cans, but in reality the opportunity of smart cities is much greater. Anyone who looks at the recent success of Uber and AirBNB when you connect stake-holders to the buy and sell side of the transaction so that the platform serves as an intermediary connecting stake-holders in order to effect an outcome. Cities can learn a lot from that. The way we look at it as a cloud platform, we do it in a tiered structure; smart government, economic development, civic engagement, digital inclusion, and smart tourism. That stack of 5 functions is basically what the DigitalTown platform delivers but with a very novel twist. In our architecture a SmartCity can be a self funding project.
What is the mission of DigitalTown?
The mission of DigitalTown is to create a global SmartCity network. Our approach is to equip every city with a city specific platform like nashville.city. We now have more than 22,000 cities on the platform for the purposes of connecting citizens to their stakeholders to be able to share and shop global but with a single sign-on. We can have shared technology, but distributed ownership through single sign-on interoperability.
To learn more about DigitalTown SmartCities, watch the whole interview below:
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