- Startup accelerator URBAN-X, backed by MINI and Urban Us, graduated its fifth cohort of startup companies in Brooklyn, NY. The seven startups showcased new hardware, software and internet of things (IoT) platforms.
- The startups are: Circuit, a free, all-electric, short-range ride-sharing company; Borrow, a short-term electric vehicle leasing company; Thrilling, an e-commerce platform for vintage and secondhand stores; Treau, an advanced climate control system designer; GreenQ, a company that creates truck-based waste analytics systems to improve logistics, diversion and recycling; Toggle, a company building an automated process to increase construction project productivity; and Buildstream, which uses IoT and machine learning to digitize every aspect of construction.
- Demo Day 05 let the startups demonstrate their products and the business development they made during the 20-week URBAN-X program. They also began the first series of initial investor meetings for additional funding.
URBAN-X, which launched in 2016, searches for early-stage design and technology startups from around the world that can improve the way cities work by addressing modern urban challenges. Cohorts of up to 10 companies are selected twice a year to go through the five-month program, during which they receive a $150,000 seed money investment and work with in-house experts on their business.
Last summer, Smart Cities Dive spoke with URBAN-X Managing Director Micah Kotch about the accelerators' successes and the challenges of choosing a handful of startups for each cohort out of a pool of about 400 applicants. Kotch said URBAN-X leaders look for startups with strong founding teams that hold potential to solve big, scalable problems that "positively impact 100 cities over the next five years."
A slew of urban-focused startups try to get off the ground each year but many do not succeed without the help of an accelerator to offer resources and expert guidance. URBAN-X now has 37 startup companies in its portfolio, with past cohorts including companies working to help governments automate toll pricing, automate public data records for cities and develop a rating system for the residential real estate market.