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Soofa Signs help people get around by telling them what's available in the moment, outside

Soofa makes solar powered digital bulletin boards that use eInk technology to display real-time public and alternative transit options

Photo of Edward Krafcik
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The Soofa Sign helps people get around - both by displaying public transit arrival information in real-time and by informing people what's happening nearby when they get to their destination. The Soofa Sign functions as mix between a digital bulletin board for the outdoors and the Facebook wall for the real world. In cities like Boston, Atlanta, and Las Vegas, it is installed in some of the most diverse, active, and unique neighborhoods, and it helps people get around and become more connected with each other and their communities. 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Our solution is for everyone. It is installed in the public right of way and displays information for all to see. It is accessible and has successfully been installed in a number of different types of locations - from busy transit hubs and bus stops to neighborhood parks and plazas. The sign is useful for people on their commute, interested in finding better and faster ways to get around (like showing where the nearest bike share is or how far away a TNC ride is, in addition to public transit options), and is also great for people who are visiting or living in a neighborhood to know what's going on near them in the moment or in the coming days and weeks.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Ready to Scale - you have completed and expanded your pilot and are seeing adoption of your solution by your intended user

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We are a female founded start up founded in 2014 out of MIT. www.soofa.co

We believe that the smart city is a social city and we design, build, and deploy human-centered infrastructure that makes living in a city an even better experience.

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Our signs can be supported by local advertising. We typically co invest with a city to help bring the signs in the first place. Then, through our hyper local advertising strategy, we work with local businesses to build an advertising revenue stream that covers the operating costs of the signs and, depending on the goals of the city in terms of percent of airtime used for advertising and total revenue generated, we enter into a revenue share with the city.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We our always focused on measuring user engagement, meaning how many people are using the signs. The signs are like nothing else available in that they are open for the public to use. In our existing cities, for example, we see on average about 100 unique posts generated by the community per week - these include things like advertisements for upcoming events and neighborhood meetings, festivals, bands, local artists showcasing their work, and much more.

6 comments

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Photo of Julian Brizuela Trochez
Team

The city should create bicycle trails on the highway. Example: if they were to take 1 lane from I-95 north and 1 from south, they will be able to make a bicycle trail in the middle of the highway. By building 5 foot tall concrete barrier with plastic glass ontop of the barrier, protecting cyclists from motorists and any flying debris. And at each existing exit, making a stairway to allow cyclists to safely get On and Off under the bridge and back on the highway. The same can be done for all major highways. This will motivate people to cosider cycling as a much faster way of transportation at high peak hours. Especially from Golden Glades to Downtown Miami on I-95.

Building wider roads is clearly not the solution for our traffic congestion, it's only getting worst. Building safe bike trails will encourage people to commute on a bicycles. Having less cars on the road and less pollution. Distance is not the problem, safety is the biggest concern.

Photo of Wilda Previl
Team

Hi Edward Krafcik I'm Wilda, local community facilitator. What a clever and simple way to make journeys fresh. Congratulations on being selected to continue on to the REFINE phase! While you fine tune your app soofa, don't forget to share (see the SHARE button above), get friends to vote, and engage on your submission!

Photo of Edward Krafcik
Team

Thank you! We certainly will do so. Excited to be part of this opportunity and look forward to the REFINE phase.

Photo of Wilda Previl
Team

Great! We’re excited to have you here. Good luck Edward!

Photo of KatieWalsh 100
Team

Many thanks for posting Edward and for the information/images/movie supplied - welcome to the challenges and good luck with this idea. Katie - Facilitator

Photo of Edward Krafcik
Team

Thank you! We are excited to be a part of this. We've had great success in Miami with our solar powered smart benches and hope to be able to to do the same with our signs. Learn more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0rzazPz7Iw