BMW’s Urban-X launches latest cohort

Electric vehicles and construction automation are the tech trends to watch according to the latest cohort of startups chosen for the Urban-X smart city accelerator.

Urban-X is part of the Innovation and Brand Strategy practice at BMW Mini and partners with venture firm, Urban Us. The seven startups were selected from a competitive group of over 450 applicants from across the world.

Cohort 05 includes the following startups:

  • The Free Ride | Van all-electric ride sharing company providing city-goers with free, sustainable transportation.
  • Borrow | Short-term electric vehicle leasing to help bridge the gap between ride sharing and car ownership.
  • Thrilling | The first dedicated e-commerce platform for vintage and second-hand stores, reducing carbon, waste and water footprints.
  • Treau | Producer of advanced climate control systems to bring sustainable, comfortable, and efficient cooling and heating to buildings.
  • GreenQ | Truck-based waste analytics systems to improve logistics, diversion and recycling.
  • Toggle | Automated process that utilises software and robotics to reduce costs and increase productivity of construction projects.
  • Gearbuddy | IoT and machine learning to digitise every aspect of construction, including equipment like bulldozers and trucks, to make construction more efficient, effective and safer.
Founders Of Cohort 05 Startups

Founders of Cohort 05 startups

Each company selected will participate in a 20-week intensive accelerator program and receive a $100,000 investment to help their businesses with their product or go-to-market strategy. Companies have access to hands-on assistance from Urban-X’s expansive network of global experts – including world-class engineers and designers from BMW, software developers, policy experts, marketing and sales leaders and UX/UI designers from the NYC startup ecosystem, graphic designers and communications and PR experts.

The program will culminate in a Demo Day in March 2019, where teams will present their solutions. Following demo day, the companies are introduced to potential backers at dedicated investor days.

Mini launched Urban-X in 2016 and now has 37 companies in the portfolio. Urban Us Capital joined the project in 2017 to help fund and develop the accelerator’s next generation of human-focused city innovation.

“Cities have always explored how emerging technologies can help tackle our biggest challenges,” said Urban-X managing director, Micah Kotch. “The startups in Cohort 05 are continuing that tradition with a new sense of urgency. We are excited to roll-up our sleeves with this new cohort and help them bring their solutions to scale.”

Mark Paris, co-founder of Urban Us, added: “Urban Us and Mini share a deep commitment to advancing the future of our cities through investment in and mentorship of early-stage urban technology companies.

“Since partnering with Mini, we’ve seen incredible results from Urban-X startups, with 100% of Cohort 03 companies having received follow-on funding, and we expect similar results from all the teams we invest in.  We look forward to helping Cohort 05 startup founders achieve the same results.”

Applications for Urban-X’s next cohort of startups, Cohort 06 are open. Interested early-stage companies can apply until 15 March 2019.

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