David Zipper

David Zipper

David Zipper is a Resident Fellow at the German Marshall Fund and a Partner in the 1776 Venture Fund, where he oversees investments in smart cities and mobility ventures. Following his tenure as director of NYC Business Solutions in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration in New York City he served as director of Business Development and Strategy for two mayors in Washington, D.C.

A man entering a public bus in Helsinki

Helsinki’s MaaS App, Whim: Is It Really Mobility’s Great Hope?

The transport app Whim is oft-cited as a model for the future of urban mobility. Two years post-launch, has it changed the way people move around Helsinki?

AOL headquarters in Virginia, 1997. By 2000, AOL was the biggest Internet provider in the country and valued at $125 billion.

Hook Local Startups, Not the HQ2 Whale

City leaders will find that cultivating relationships with small homegrown companies is smarter—and cheaper—than trying to lure in an outside behemoth.  

Metro trains arrive at the Gallery Place-Chinatown station in Washington D.C.

D.C. Metro's New App May Need a Pre-Launch Update

Washington D.C. transit officials announced plans to update the payment system for rail and bus with a great new app. But if they don’t go further, this writer says, the speed of transit innovation will soon leave them scrambling.

Detroit's skyline

Silicon Valley Has Noticed the Heartland. What Now?

Venture capitalists went on a Midwest tour recently that was described by The New York Times as a “Rust Belt safari.” Lost in the discussion were the actual Midwestern entrepreneurs.

A cyclist maneuvers his way through downtown Los Angeles traffic on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.

Who Owns Urban Mobility Data?

Policymakers need it; private transportation companies have it. Here’s one way to broker a solution.

The Right Way to Support Your City's Local Startups

Cities are right to pour their energy into home-grown businesses. But they should think twice before becoming those businesses’ first customers or investors.

No, Urban Tech Startups Aren't Transforming All American Cities

If you live in a mid-sized city like Akron, the battles over Airbnb and Uber have likely had little impact on your life.

City Buyer Beware: Not Even Amazon Is a Sure Bet

It’s rosy at best to presume that the next 20 years will be as kind to Amazon as the last 20. Local taxpayers shouldn’t bear the risk of the corporation’s financial future.

A close-up of a Lyft smartphone app

Private Mobility Services Need To Share Their Data. Here's How.

If ride-hailing companies want to act like public buses, cities will need their numbers to make policy decisions.  

How Not To Prepare For the Self-Driving Revolution

While some states are tightening regulations on autonomous vehicles, others are eagerly courting them. What’s the smartest approach?

Who Owns Transit Data?

Most U.S. cities share their transit information freely, which helps trip-planning services and boosts ridership. But most German cities don’t. Should they?