The Future of Cities According to TechCrunch Disrupt

Three of the finalists in this week's startup contest offer city-themed innovations.

At the annual TechCrunch Disrupt SF, several start-ups piqued our city-minded interest — they just may change the way our cities look and feel.

Seven finalists were announced yesterday in the conference's "Startup Battlefield" competition for a shot at the "Disrupt Cup" and $50,000 stipend. The winner is scheduled to be announced later today, but here's three we've got our eye on.

C-1 by Lit Motors

Screenshot from Lit Motors's website.

Part motorcycle, part two-person car, this two-wheeled vehicle can go 200 miles on a single charge. From where we're sitting, we can imagine driving this thing from our offices in D.C. almost all the way to New York — though we may get stuck antiquing for 4 to 6 hours of charge time someplace in New Jersey. The fact that it looks like something out of Men in Black is a fringe benefit.

YourMechanic

Screenshot of YourMechanic's website.

As the company describes on their site: "Think of us as the AAA of car mechanics." You enter in your problem and car and contact info, and you're matched with a licensed mechanic who will come to you. The site has a drop-down menu of potential car problems (the driving-phobic should avoid this — listed problems include "car keeps running when I shut the key off" or "car shuts off when stepping on the gas pedal"). It's only in the Bay Area right now, so here's hoping inclusion in the TechCrunch contest will help them expand elsewhere.

Zumper

Screenshot of Zumper's website.

This site, currently only available in New York or San Francisco, has created partnerships with landlords and brokers to provide information to housing-hunters in an easy map-and-photo-driven format. You can toggle from a listing's apartment photo and its Google Street View (just as important, we would argue). At the zoomed-out level, listings are grouped into neighborhood concentrations. As you zoom in, individual listings appear as clickable price bubbles — especially great for people who are relocating to a new city and may not already know that places in Pacific Heights can go for $8,500 per month.

UPDATE: Announced Wednesday evening, YourMechanic took home the grand prize. Lit Motors was the runner-up.

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