URBANEER is an urban innovation company working at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds to create next generation living spaces.

Bruce Thompson speaks on URBANEER's Story

The New American Dream

The last century has been characterized by addition: larger homes, faster cars, and more stuff. It has yielded many fruits, but it has also created a culture and economy that values growth for growth’s sake.

URBANEER wants to help people realize the New American Dream, where growth promotes happy, responsible, meaningful lives. In this dream, the homes that we build and the products we produce are designed to improve lives and the planet, not merely bottom lines. In this dream, technology and innovation allow people to use less, thereby simplifying their lives and cutting down their environmental footprints, while improving the quality of their lives.


In 1996 URBANEER founder Bruce Thompson was working as part of the Internet launch team for MCI Telecommunications which at the time managed over 60% of the Internet backbone. Bruce worked along-side a world-class engineering team led by Vint Cerf, co-creator of the Internet Protocol (IP). Vint had a mantra – ‘IP on Everything’ – which articulated his vision that ultimately everything would be connected to the Internet. Soon after, Bruce and his family moved to Europe and lived in Munich and then Barcelona. In Munich they were introduced to compact living…and portable kitchens! In Barcelona, they experienced a compact, walkable urban living experience for the first time; they were further influenced in Germany while driving compact luxury automobiles which were re-imagined, not just downsized versions of their larger counterparts

Inspired, Bruce started thinking about how living spaces could be impacted by the digitization of our daily lives, urban migration patterns and social trends. 

He began to research other points in history when advancements in technology had influenced the design of physical space and found that the most recent shift was 100 years ago with the introduction of telephony, electricity, broadcast communications and automobile transportation networks. During this time homes were re-imagined taking advantage of the changes that these technologies presented

Today, we are in another exciting era of innovation that has the potential to radically transform how we live. URBANEER was born to increase the productivity of spaces where we live, work, heal and play. Through adaptable furnishings and fixtures with embedded intelligence URBANEER delivers life changing spaces where less lives like more.

If you are interested in bringing your space into the 21st century, contact us and find out what we can do for you.


Our team brings brings together decades of experience
in the development, technology, architectural, and other industries.

President, Cofounder

Bruce Thompson

Bruce Thompson has a long career vigorously building and growing technology companies. Bruce’s has worked on corporate development for a host of groundbreaking companies such as  MCI Telecommunications, where he helped launched the first large scale e-commerce service, and Proxicom, an Internet systems integration firm that grew from $8M to over $220M. Among other positions, Bruce was a partner in MAPA Group, a Washington D.C. based business development firm that helped launched alternative energy and green building initiatives. Most recently, Bruce served as VP of Corporate Development at Rockford Construction, where he met URBANEER cofounder Mike VanGessel. Bruce has lived in three countries and five states, but proudly resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his wife and two sons.


Mike Vangessel

Cofounder Mike VanGessel brings thirty years of real estate development, construction, and management to the URBANEER team. Mike is best known as a founding partner of Rockford Construction, one of the Top 400 Contractors in the nation that has completed 4,200 projects totaling more than $3.8 billion. Mike is a Grand Rapids native with strong ties to the community and serves on many corporate and nonprofit boards. He is also a frequently requested speaker in the community and helps many organizations with capital campaigns and strategic planning.