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The Venture Junkie 


Re-urbanization is in full swing and cities need to be adaptive to cater to an increasingly large population with higher expectations. But cities often cannot adapt as quickly due to bureaucracy or tight budgets, so seek out partnerships with private organizations that can provide funding, know-how, and speed. These public-private-partnerships (P3) allow private investors or sponsors to benefit from public projects that not only provide a financial return to the cities and investors, but also a social return to citizens. P3GM is an organization that facilitates these partnerships, and helps cities adapt to changing infrastructure and technology demands. 

How it Works

P3GM works in close partnership with cities to identify and execute projects that provide a high financial and social return. Typical projects revolve around repurposing or developing infrastructure for connectivity, mobility, or media themes. P3GM will raise money from the private markets on a project by project basis, and enabling sponsor commitments with brands looking to connect with communities through smart city efficiencies. Often investors receive a revenue sharing agreement with the city – other projects provide sponsors with public advertising benefits.

Example of projects

One of P3GM’s more interesting projects is the Pasadena Shared Parking. Cities have very little money for parking and often forego significant revenue from garages that could be used for more economical buildings such as apartments or office buildings. For this reason, cities need to use their existing parking in the most economic ways possible. P3GM worked with the City of Pasadena to develop a program where existing downtown and even residential parking could be reserved so that commuters were not aimlessly searching for parking in one area while other garages remained empty.

What Else Are They Up To?

P3GM has additional projects in the Northeast and West regions of the US as well as Europe and Latin America. The projects have diverse purposes such as bike sharing, mobile food, and pay phone turned Wi-Fi hotspots. All projects have financial as well as social returns for both investors and the cities that participate.

Let’s Talk Finance

How are projects funded: Currently P3GM works with cities to identify interesting projects to pursue. Through partnerships, cities and P3GM develop specific projects and then raise capital from outside private investors. P3GM is currently raising an in-house fund so that projects can be greenlight without the need to raise money on a one-off basis.

How Does P3GM make money: P3GM retains interest in the projects they help finance. As mentioned above, most projects have some sort of economic incentive such as revenue sharing, advertising dollars, or tax incentives.

Customers: Cities, municipalities, or other government body, and technology companies.

Market Size: The potential market is difficult to size, but for comparison the municipal bond market is $3.7T.

Market Shift: Shift in favor. Cities are looking for new and innovative ways to finance projects. Investors are also pursuing triple bottom line returns.

P3GM’s Team

I sat down with Steven Aitkenhead, Director of Sponsorships for P3GM. Like many of the team, Steven is bilingual and has a background in tech and finance.
The company’s founders worked in both the public and private sector, and maintain connections to NGOs, municipalities, and other government organizations.

Looking to the Future

Cities are built for future generations, so must inherently have long-term investment horizons. Investing in transient and constantly evolving technology is difficult. P3GM would eventually like to be an “outsourced CIO” for cities, helping them prioritize and fundraise for the highest economic and social return projects. P3GM is focusing on connectivity, media, and mobile spaces – 3 areas where cities can use or transform existing infrastructure to allow for a more economic use of resources for citizens.

For more information please visit the website at  www.p3gm.com or contact the team at info@p3gm.com