- Startup accelerator URBAN-X, backed by MINI and Urban Us, has launched its sixth cohort.
- Seven startups that are devising solutions to city issues were selected for the 20-week program. The startups are:
- 3AM Innovations, a company that devised a tracking tool to help first responders in emergency situations
- Cove.Tool, which provides automated building performance modeling
- Evolve Energy, intended to reduce home carbon emissions and energy costs.
- Food for All, a company that partners with restaurants to reduce potential food waste and turn it into low-cost meals
- Hubbster, which transforms public spaces into social experiences
- Pi Variables, a traffic guidance and safety toolkit
- Varuna, a water quality improvement platform.
- Each of the businesses will receive $150,000 in financing and support to develop hardware, software or internet of things (IoT) products, in addition to marketing strategies.
The startups chosen to participate in URBAN-X cohorts all have the common thread of trying to solve problems that urban areas face. The program just graduated its fifth cohort in May.
Since its launch three years ago, URBAN-X has helped 44 startups get off the ground. The accelerator provides financial resources and guidance that help standout businesses succeed and advance to the next stage. Each round of the program ends with the startups presenting their businesses to investors and other potential partners at a "Demo Day."
Last year, URBAN-X managing director Micah Kotch spoke to Smart Cities Dive about the process and the challenge of choosing a small number of businesses to support from a pool of hundreds. Kotch said the judges have to believe in the startup's team and they have to be coachable, while being able to make a huge impact on a large number of cities in the coming years.
Kotch said the solutions are aimed to serve cities of all sizes: "I think there's a number of cities that, whether those are tier one, tier two or tier three cities that are struggling with similar challenges... [E]ntrepreneurs tend to be really good at responding to those needs. At the end of the day, they're problem solvers."