Startups should build cities.

"Success is discovered by the economic system through a blanketing shotgun process, not by the individual through a converging search.” - Armen Alchian

"Highly stimulating. A new weekly addiction." - Joni Baboci, Urban Planner for City of Tirana, founder of Layer

"My new favorite sub." - Angelo Alessio, DAO architect, build_cities

What is Startup Cities?

Startup Cities is about startups that build new neighborhoods and cities.

Its readership includes famous architects, startup founders, venture capitalists, urban planners, technologists, Web3 luminaries, and real estate developers from around the world.

What Content Can I Expect?

Startup Cities takes an apolitical, non-utopian perspective on how startups can (and are!) building new neighborhoods and cities.

Startup Cities focuses on a few areas:

  • Understanding the technology stack that underpins cities

  • Analyzing innovations that change the cost structure and performance of this technology stack

  • Nuts and bolts analysis of the business models of Startup Cities

  • Some hard-nosed, empirical skepticism about utopian schemes and dreamy megaprojects

Content you can expect:

  • Deep-dives into innovations that make city-building easier and cheaper for startups

  • Open-minded interviews with technologists and founders who are building this industry

  • Link round-ups and analysis of this exciting, fast-moving industry

  • Research from visiting cities around the world

About the Author

Startup Cities is written by Zach Caceres, often known on the internet as

Zach is a software engineer and product guy focused on early-stage companies. Ten years ago, he coined the term “Startup Cities” to describe neighborhoods and cities built by startup companies. From 2012 to 2016, he co-founded and led the Startup Cities Institute, an interdisciplinary research group, at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City.

Zach has spoken around the world on Startup Cities, alternative education, and programming for venues ranging from the Singapore National Library, the St. Gallen Symposium, The Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Sciences, MIT Global Startup Workshop, college clubs, entrepreneur's groups, government delegations, the Yandex corporation, ClassCentral, and more.

Zach’s work has won multiple awards and has been published by Palgrave MacMillan and Routledge. He's also been published or featured by outlets like Virgin Entrepreneur, The Atlantic's CityLab, a16z’s, Stripe’s Works in Progress, NYU's Governance Lab, Barron's, The New Zealand Initiative, the Adam Smith Center of Singapore. The World Design Organization selected him as a judge for the World Design Capital 2020.

As an engineer, Zach's code powers multiple venture-backed startups in industries like e-commerce, low code tools, entertainment, and health tech. He was a contributor to the FastAI deep learning framework and maintainer of a popular AI audio library.

His website,, is regularly plagiarized and has been featured as innovative web design by the AWWWards, the Hochschule Mainz University of Applied Sciences, and other venues around the world. His ClassCentral talk with distinguished professor of engineering Barbara Oakley, "The Intuitive Programmer", has been viewed by tens of thousands of aspiring programmers.

Long interested in non-bureaucratic approaches to education, Zach also led an organizational and financial restructuring of the MPC, an experimental college that continues to bring an innovative, self-directed learning to university students in Latin America.

Zach lives in Denver, Colorado. Email him at hello [at] zach [dot] dev.

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