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Renato De Castro

Smart City Expert - International Investment Attraction

  • Padova Area, Italy
  • +393938740545


Renato de Castro is a smart city senior consultant with more than 20 years experience and specialized in investment attraction and management for smart cities projects. He is senior vice president for Smart Cities at CreF, Inc, an american investment bank from Pittsburgh. He is also member of the global advisory board of Leading Cities, located in Boston, and international advisor for The World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments, in Seoul. Renato responds as mentor and advisor specialized in globalization strategies for startups around the world. He is Doctor of Business Administration candidate at Maastricht School of Management, MSM, Netherlands, researching about Smart Cities. He is also writer, columnist and video blogger for Smart City, ICT and Urbanization Strategies topics. 


Senior Vice President Smart Cities

Commercial Real Estate Financing, Inc.
May 2016Present

Commercial Real Estate Financing, Inc. is a comprehensive commercial real estate mortgage-banking organization offering a full gamut of financing solutions for clients on a national and international basis. it has just launched a new department fully oriented to the developments of Smart Cities in global scale. Using long-term relationships with worldwide funding sources, CREF provides tailored financing solutions for transactions including construction projects, EB-5 financing, permanent financing, tax credit financing, TIF financing, along with letters of credit and lines of credit. Loan amounts begin at $30 million and maximize at $750 million.

Main projects:  

  • Investment project in connectivity infrastructure in Mexico.  
  • Investment portfolio definition for central and east european countries.

International Advisor

World e-Governments Oganization of Cities and Local Governments
May 2015Present

The World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments (WeGO) is an international cooperative body for cities and local governments that pursues sustainable urban development based on e-Government. Wego counts currently with more than 140 member cities in all continents.

Main responsibilities:

  • To support the WeGO Secretariat in fulfilling such mission by providing technical, strategic and organizational advice.
  • To provide technical and substantive advice on WeGO programs, projects and activities, including WeGO e-Government training programs and CeDS Online Platform.
  • To Provide strategic advice for WeGO’s short-, medium- and long-term roadmaps.

Founder - Executive director

Baumann Consultancy Network
May 2006may 2016

Baumann group is a global consultancy network with headquarters located in Hong Kong and main offices in Beijing and Sao Paulo. The core mission is to support local governments, private companies and NGOs in developing globalization strategies. I have worked as executive director in China for 8 years, from 2006 to 2013 managing the projects in Asia. In 2013 the company opened an office in Europe. From 2013 to may 2016 I was based in Italy, responsible for the management of some global projects, what have required an intensive schedule of international business trips. In 3 years I have officially listed more than 50 countries.

Main projects:

  • Globalization strategies and investment attraction projects for south american cities including: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Belo Horizonte (Brazil),  Paraíba State (Brazil), Asuncion (Paraguay), Santiago (Chile), Lima (Peru), Panama City (Panama), Puebla (Mexico), Buenos Aires (Argentina).
  •  1st Paraguayan truck manufacturer company.
  • Governamental relations , trade missions and cooperation agreements in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong,  Macau, Italy, Germany, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Czech Republic, Poland, United States, Panama, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

Advisory Board Member

NGOs and vesting contracts
 2015 present

Since 2015 I have been accumulating professional experiences as advisory board member for several projects around the world related to Smart Cities and technologies applied to urban problems.

      Rovolon | Italy

      Smart Villages Pilot

Smart Villages pilot has just been launched in 2016 as an experimental project to help small cities around the world to apply the cutting-edge smart city technologies to solve their urban problem as endure their resilience.

      Hyderabad | India

      Architect Corner
      May 2016Present
Architect Corner is part of Digital India initiative and the Smart City Governance Working Group,an initiative driven by Telecommunication Engineering Center. Telecommunication Engineering Centre comes under Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.

      Kuala Lumpur | Malaysia

      Smart Cities Asia 2016
      Apr 2016Present

Asia-Pacific is a frontier of growth and development, having embraced disruptive trends in its journey to grow. This eco-system depicts an eclectic mix of cities.  Smart Cities Asia is the largest and most important event of the industry for the Southeast  Asia market. 

      Boston | Usa

      Leading Cities
      Nov 2015Present

Leading Cities is a NGO designed to harness the power of a network of leaders around the world, united by common environments and challenges despite their vast differences in location, language, culture and tradition. The existing network of partner cities includes Barcelona, Spain; Boston, USA; Dublin, Ireland; Haifa, Israel; Hamburg, Germany; Lisbon, Portugal; Lyon, France; Vancouver, Canada; Zapopan, Mexico and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


global level

As an influencer I am currently collaborating with the main international media related to Smart Cities as guest columnist and video blogger, talking about the new trends and projects.

      New | Delhi

      BW Businessworld Magazine
      Apr 2016PRESENT

Guest writer for BW Businessworld, one of the oldest as well as most respected business publications in India. In 2015 they started to print monthly a special issue 100% dedicated to Smart Cities.

      Barcelona | Spain

      Smart City Business Institute
      Jan 2016Present

Actual Smart City magazine is the global-leading publication about Smart City with more than 400.000 monthly visits, it is present in 120 countries and 1.500 cities all over the world. Just in the last 12 months, I visited personally more than 30 vibrant projects around the world. 

      Sao Paulo | Brazil

      Portal Administradores
      Sep 2012Present

Running since 2004, is  the main channel for administration and business in brazilian Internet and one of the most successful specialized websites in Brazil. Focusing mainly on administration and its related areas, it attracts more than 7 millions visitors monthly.

Research Associate 

EADA Business School Barcelona
Jun 2015Present

Research associate and senior consultant in Smart City development at Eu-Asia Global Business Research Center. Connecting East & West through the higher purpose of fostering economic and human development with the generation (research), dissemination (training) and exchange (consulting) of business, scientific and philosophical knowledge. 

Keynote and tedx Speaker

global level
Sep 2008Present

Keynote speaker, chairman and moderator in international congresses and forums worldwide.  Barcelona, London, Frankfurt, Melbourne, Curitiba, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Boston, Singapore, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Budapest, Stockholm, Riga, Mumbai, New Delhi, Rome, Beijing, Qingdao, and Kuala Lumpur are among the markets to be visited to attend more than 20 events in 2016, including a Tedx Talk. 

Visiting Professor

global level
Jan 1999Present

17-year experience in academic lecturing as MBA professor, responsible for the subjects/courses on smart cities trends, international marketing and globalization strategies at several Universities in South America, Europe and Asia.

Activities in 2016:

11 May - New Delhi | India - ITS Institute of Technology and Sciences - Seminar 

24 March - Assisi | Italy - Università degli Studi di Perugia - Lecture Master Degree Smart Cities Design.

7 Mach - Sharjah | UAE- American University of Sharjah - Seminar Engineering department.

11 February - Mumbai | India- Indian Institute of Technology IIT - Speech Made in India Hackathon.

09 February - Mumbai | India - Indian Institute of Technology IIT - Seminar  for Master and PHD students. 

Suzin Ahn | Assistant Secretary General at World e-Governments Organization

" With an extensive international background and expertise in connecting local governments and the private sector, he has a large number of connections around the world. Throughout his work with us at WeGO, Renato has helped in reaching out to Latin American cities, particularly in Brazil... This is especially important, as we are planning to extend our presence in Latin America. We also note Renato’s expertise and up-to-date knowledge of smart city trends."

Haríolo dos Santos | Brazilian Embassy in London

" Renato has a key role as facilitator, enabling other people to work in the way that suits them best. His experience in China was built on helping exporters from overseas to get the right and fair deal with an extensive knowledge on the Chinese way of doing business and the appropriate cultural and social approach. Renato helped building a solid bridge between Asia, South America and Europe business worlds. Now he is broadening his skills on a global level, wishing to share those skills and amassed knowledge with interested audiences around the world. "


Doctor of Business Administration

Maastricht School of Management

Maastricht - Netherlands

Thesis on the effects of intense exposure to ICT in Smart Cities in consumer behavior of citizens

Full scholarship 

Master in Global Management

Hochschule Bremen

Bremen - Germany

Thesis on Cross-Cultural Strategic Management: managing the cultural diversity in the Brazilian market.

GPA: 98%

Patrick Mans | Deputy Director Research MSM

"I have met Renato during my days at the Maastricht School of Management. Renato's enthusiasm and no-nonsense way of thinking immediately impressed me, and I can only say that I enjoy working together with Renato in his projects. Renato is an excellent presenter who can engage his audience, and he deserves every opportunity coming his way! "

Regine Hink | Course Coordinator Hochschule Bremen

"Renato de Castro was student in our MBA in Global Management about 15 years ago, since then I followed his career on social media and by reports from classmates and professors. I remember Renato as an ambitious and innovative student and "out-of-the-box" thinker, who passionately worked for solutions in his teams. I am convinced he can cope with all challenges he will meet in his professional life. "

language Skills


Native Language

Born in Rio de Janeiro - 1973


Full Professional Proficiency

Advanced level + 14 years living abroad


Professional Proficiency

Advanced level + working experience in Spain and Argentina


Professional Proficiency

Intermediate level + 3 years living in Italy


Limited Working Proficiency 

Intermediate level + 2 years living in Germany 

fast improvement if necessary

Chinese Mandarin

Limited Working Proficiency

Basic level + 8 years living in China 

fast improvement if necessary

Speeches and Tedx 

Title: City SmartUp: A Better Life Closer Than Ever

Since June 2015 I have started a intense schedule of international conferences, congresses and summits as keynote speaker. Since then I have been invited to discuss about my ideas in 25 global events until June 2016. For the second semester of 2016 I have already my speeches confirmed in 16 events, including the Smart Summit London; Disruptive Technologies UK Conference and Expo 2016; San Francisco Smart Cities Innovation Summit; Smart Cities Asia 2016  and The Nordic Smart Cities 2016. Some of my main performances as reference:

    TEDx Torvergata -  07th May 2016                   Urbantec 2016 Beijing | 29th May 2016        Interview Bloomberg TV | 25th April 2016

Etta Sachdiva | Oracle Fusion Middleware Sales at L&T Infotech

"It was indeed enlightening to be present at one of your sessions. Factual evidences that you presented were engaging to think towards smarter and better future. This is the it thing. Keep it up !!! "

Paolo Verducci - University of Perugia

"Renato de Castro is an excellent lecturer and business strategist; he has communication skills in the field of smart city. I spoke with Renato after the panel smartexpo event in Barcelona where he engaged the audience into the discussion. Renato explained well the different approaches to smart cities in different countries, showing as you can plan smart cities in small urban structures."



Last article published in English and Spanish.


The world’s urbanization process is definitely the main argument used to justify the urgent need of smarter cities. The world is facing an incredible increase in urban problems due to the population growth. The most common argument to justify Smart City projects is related to United Nation reports showing that by 2030 it will probably be over 70% of the world population. But the question is if this statement alone is strong enough to convince the most sceptic ones. The first argument of this paper considers that as cities are definitely collapsing due to the world urbanization, the discussion about smart cities must go deeper than only the application ICT in “smart solutions” to assuage the current problems, but undoubtedly should also focus on the concept of smart villages. Avoiding the migration from countryside or non-urban areas to the metropolis can solve big part of the problems we will face in the near future. The paper also explore some aspects of the creative economy revolution that makes now the projects not only faster, but cheaper than ever before. The nature of the Smart City project, applied to a metropolis or a village, does not really matter, some tools can be useful to boost it and to assure a long-term economic sustainability. This paper covers four preeminent trends, described as tools and illustrated with some global cases: (1) Rethinking the Smart City Pitch; (2) Smart City Concept Design; (3) “Appsation” Reconnecting with Citizens and (4) Attracting and Promoting ICT Pilot Projects. We are now certainly facing a new era of smart city development. More cities are adopting the philosophy and citizens are becoming the main stakeholder in the process. All the long, costly and hard path taken by the pioneers can be now effectively shortcut. What are you waiting for? Let’s SMARTup!

     Businessworld Magazine | May 2016                Smart City Magazine | June 2016

Matteo Kalchschmidt | Università degli Studi di Bergamo

"Renato is a very talented speaker and is capable to focus attention on very complex topics even under limited time constrains. His competences on Smart Cities are wide and embrace various real cases and applications. "

Ricardo Chaves Lima | Conselho Estadual de Educação de Pernambuco

"I was Renato de Castro´s professor and thesis advisor at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences, in Germany. Mr. de Castro always showed high academic leaning, maturity and intelligence during the time we worked together. After finishing the program, Renato unveiled his entrepreneurial spirit in many successful business initiatives. That is why I highly recommend Mr. Renato de Castro for creative and intelligence demanding endeavors. "