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.
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.