Colab, a Brazilian application that helps report urban problems, was elected on world’s best by the New Cities Foundation at an event in Sao Paulo. Other finalists included traffic BuzzJourney (Israel) and PublicStuff (United States). These apps participated in the competition App My City, an award for best application in the world (those of us trying to unlock the big cities). Colab received $ 5000 in cash. (Learn more about the application here).
“This award means a certificate for good quality,” says Aracaty Bruno, one of the founders of Colab, after the awards. “We — with only two months — were competing with apps with two years of development.” To Aracaty, the award “will corroborate our strength in the world.”
“The Colab is not just what the citizens see. It has tools for municipalities processing information and controlling, for example, the problems were solved,” says Aracaty.
In Recife, where it was initially released, all demands posted by users are sent to the municipality. According Aracaty, the resolution rate is 5%. Low? Maybe, but it demonstrates that the tool has the potential to mobilize the public about the needs exposed directly by the citizens.
This, incidentally, is one of the possible sources of profitability of Colab, says the executive. The tool can be a public ombudsman system to be used by municipalities to receive and monitor urban problems and complaints about public facilities.
The other is to create functions that allow the platform to be used by companies to associate their brands to conduct citizen and develop a system of crowdfunding (collective financing) to solve problems (plugging a hole, for example). Finally: ads.
The startup, which grew out of a joint initiative of two other companies, already have a business plan and starting up conversations with investors. The team will be formed between 10 and 15 employees.