Mehdi Amoui, Co-Founder & CTO and Dave Parsell, Co-Founder & CEOThe City of Seattle is considered one of world’s fastest growing technology hotspots and a leader in the smart cities movement. To maximize its potential as a thriving hub for businesses, jobs, robust neighborhoods, and equal economic opportunity, the city’s Office of Economic Development (OED) recently partnered with smart city startup Localintel. To facilitate OED’s continued economic development efforts and cater to the growth of local businesses, Localintel launched Business Decision Engine, an online tool that places the power of big data in the hands of local businesses and helps them analyze the available data more precisely and make better business decisions.
Spending close to two decades working and consulting for local governments in the area of economic development, Dave Parsell, co-founder and CEO, Localintel, was well aware of the challenges faced by local businesses and wanted to resolve them. Joining hands with Mehdi Amoui, who holds a PhD in software engineering, the duo founded Localintel to provide municipalities and chambers of commerce with the smart city technology needed to promote a community’s advantages, share market intelligence, and power local business growth. Localintel brings together big data, GIS technology, powerful analytics, and advanced user experience to offer a first of its kind catalog of next-generation economic development tools. Operating in the U.S. and Canada, the firm has already signed up with over 40 municipalities— population size ranging from 3,500 people up to 1.3 million—in less than a year.
Parsell attributes this early traction to Localintel’s focus on its customers. Before even writing a single line of code, the firm had spent a year driving thousands of miles to meet hundreds of economic development professionals. Parsell says, “The message was loud and clear. Municipalities and chambers of commerce wanted world-class online economic development tools, but most lacked the time and budget to do so.” Attending to those needs, Localintel ensures that its advanced technology tools are low maintenance and affordable for communities of all sizes. Localintel’s toolsets aim at saving economic developers a significant time when responding to requests for information, making it easier for businesses and investors to track down valuable information about the local economy, customers, competition, and opportunities.
The world is changing and so is economic development. Localintel is helping smart cities adapt and prosper
Localintel is also helping create smart cities by making it easier for businesses to find and use open data. According to the Smart Cities Council, cities that open their data are seeing new entrepreneurial businesses emerge, creating more jobs and boosting tax revenues from the increased economic activity. For the City of Seattle, open data is a key component of their smart city road map. Seattle has been publishing open data since 2010 and was the first in the U.S. to publish dispatch data from police and fire departments.
“Before the Business Decision Engine, people had to search several agencies and even if they found the right data, they may not have had the context to make it useful. Now, all the most important information is in one place and easily digestible for anyone,” says Brian Surratt, Director of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development. Parsell adds, “By combining the vast amounts of information held in Seattle’s Open Data Platform with our own data, we have created a valuable resource for Seattle’s business community.”
Localintel’s commitment to providing solutions that help municipalities spur economic development and innovation was recently honored by the Smart Cities Council at Smart Cities Week held in Silicon Valley. With innovative technology solutions, Localintel is changing the way municipalities and chambers of commerce support local business and propel job growth in the U.S and Canada. Continuing ahead, Localintel is focused on bringing to the table more ground-breaking solutions that help local communities around the globe better utilize technology and data to create new opportunities.