- The Urban Future Lab, a smart cities and clean energy hub at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, announced a competition that will award two startups $50,000 each for new smart city and smart grid technologies.
- The Urban Future Prize Competition will be split along two tracks. The first, New York Community Trust Smart City, deals with urban infrastructure and resiliency, sensor networks and analytics. The second, Applications to the Smart Grid, should include renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and related projects.
- In addition to the cash prize, winners will get access to ACRE, the city’s longest-running clean tech business incubator. Applications are open until Jan. 4, 2019.
New York City has tried to position itself as a clean energy and smart cities tech hub, drawing talent and interest from the west coast. The city has launched multiple competitions, including the sought-after Moonshot Challenges around connectivity and clean energy in order to foster startups, and has opened up city data to developers to find new solutions. The city is also investing in a tech hub in Union Square to offer more support to the industry.
The prize will also help New York’s push to deploy more clean energy and cut its climate change impact. Through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision, the state seeks to get 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, accompanied by a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases over 1990 levels.
The new prize competition fits into that ethos, and has backing from New York University, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York Community Trust and the utility Con Edison. Winning startups will have access to the ACRE incubator, making them eligible to apply for $100,000 “Ignition Grants” from the NYSERDA, and greater contact with competition sponsors and other companies.
"The Urban Future Prize Competition is an excellent vehicle for startups in the clean energy, smart city, and smart grid space to scale up and get funding," said Pat Sapinsley, managing director of cleantech initiatives at NYU Tandon.