Rewarding civic pride and boosting the local economy? Akron, Ohio is trying out a startup for that

Akron, Ohio, USA downtown skyline at dusk

Akron, Ohio, the hometown of LeBron James; the seat of the U.S. tire industry; the 127 largest city in the U.S.; and the home of America’s first toy company, is now the latest site of a global experiment in whether cities can use behavioral economics to help foster good citizenship.

Thanks to the work of the city’s deputy mayor for integrated development, James Hardy, Akron is the first city to roll out services from an Israeli-based company called Colu. A startup backed by just over $20 million in financing from American and Israeli investors, the company has developed an app-based rewards service that cities can roll out to provide perks to users.

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Story excerpt provided by Tech Crunch.

Written by Jonathan Shieber.

Originally published June 15, 2020.

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