Leveraging Data to Understand Urban Investment: YesMilano and CitiBank

Cici and Alexandra and Marco joined us at X. Festival to discuss leveraging data on an urban scale for attracting investment.

Alexandra introduced Citi Ventures, which stands for accelerating innovation and growth. Citi Venturers approach is dominated around four key elements:

  1. An outside perspective to sense and act upon market signals
  2. Businesses and produce agnostic meaning that they position themselves to solve consumer problems
  3. An experimental approach to capability and solution-building

Cici and Alexandra from Citi Ventures and Marco from Milan & Partners joined us at X. Festival to discuss leveraging data on an urban scale for attracting investment. Citi Ventures and Milan & Partners have collaborated to launch City Builder for Milan, which follows later.

Alexandra introduced Citi Ventures, which stands for accelerating innovation and growth. Citi Venturers approach is dominated around four key elements:

  1. An outside perspective to sense and act upon market signals
  2. Businesses and produce agnostic meaning that they position themselves to solve consumer problems
  3. An experimental approach to capability and solution-building
  4. Working with a broad range of partners, including start-ups, governments, non-profit organisations.

As Alexandra explained, Citi Ventures embodied a number of smaller teams, including:

  1. Venture investing that concentrates on investing in start-ups to enhance’ Citi’s products and services
  2. D10X is an internal incubator established to connect businesses to discover and advance strategic growth
  3. Studio where products and services are developed for the community
  4. Citi productivity which is focused on innovation and transformation

Studio, which Alexandra and Cici are part of, work on several projects. One key aspect of their projects is focused on globalisation and technologyconcerning the future of work and human capital. The question they intend to answer is how to “help people achieve upward mobility in the rapidly changing world of work?”. The ‘Cities and Growth’ project at Studio aims to help cities attract more talents and resources needed for growth. The ‘Worth’ project provides an online tool for getting market insights, exploring & discovering and pursuing career paths. The City Builder, which Cici later on during the session demonstrated, is a data-driven platform designed for communities and organisations to make impactful changes on the urban scale.

Later during the session, Marco introduced their agency that is continuously engaged in promoting Milan through data-driven approaches. Their project concern the attractiveness of the city on three scales the visitors, the human capital and the enterprises. Milan & Partners aims to cultivate Milan’s reputation with respect to the visitors. Culture and gastronomy to heritage and visitor experiences. In relation to human capital, the company envisions building Milan’s reputation as an international hub for education and creativity with outstanding opportunities for entrepreneurs and welcoming international students and businesses. On an enterprise scale, they intend to attract foreign investment and create jobs & competitiveness.

City builder for Milano provided an opportunity to focus on the attractiveness of Milan. The brand focus is to create a tool to:

  1. Attract foreign investors.
  2. Focused on neighbourhoods as a fundamental point in the strategy, the neighbourhoods are the city’s heart and soul.
  3. Communicate the changes in the city in terms of planning and infrastructures with attention to the regulatory plan and upcoming Olympics.
  4. Urban regeneration is self-explanatory but requires data as a core input to drive other aspects of the project.
  5. Public and private partnerships
  6. Public properties equal with the help of the municipality of Milan

Following the introductions by Alexandra and Marco, Cici presented the City Builder platform launched for Milan. City Builder for Milan is public domain available in the US and the EU.

The City Builder for Milan is designed primarily for exploration, comparison and learning. It features to explore Milan. It allows finding information about different sectors, including retail and commerce, through an embedded filtering feature. It also provides a map and description of neighbourhoods with information such as schools and embassies, real estate data demographic (e.g. average age and education of population), and transportation. Additionally, City Builder for Milan presents investment opportunity projects within the city. It introduces projects seeking investments and connects them with investors.

Cici explained and demonstrated City Builder for Milan is a user-friendly design. The information provided on the platform is easy to digest, useful, and prompt actions related to investment in the city. The target audience for the information on the platform is investment professionals who can impact the community and individuals who look for opportunities to grow and business. To conclude, the platform intends to attract capital.

Key Takeaways

1. On an urban scale, data can be employed to attract talent and capital to cities by connecting individuals, start-ups, businesses and identifying market insights.

2. Data-driven platforms facilitate promoting cities on an urban. Scale with introducing investment opportunities and linking investors to businesses.

3. On an entrepreneurial scale, access to data allows creating more jobs and competitiveness on an urban scale.

Published on:
December 2021
About the contributor

Alexandra West

As a member of the Partnerships team at Citi Ventures Studio, Alex focuses on developing long-term partnerships—both internally at Citi and externally with firms and universities—that bring about innovative insights and strategic opportunities.

Cici Li

Cici Li is a Product Manager at Citi Ventures Studio. She is responsible for creating, enhancing, and scaling products that enable the organization to realize its goal of driving economic vitality for people and communities.

Marco Minicucci

I am a strategy and marketing Project Manager for Milano&Partners, the city DMO. We partner with public and private entities to communicate and promote what Milano is - and will be - to the world.