Solutions from the winning start-ups of the City:One Challenge provide a healthy food delivery service that also reduces waste and navigation guides for those with mobility impairments.
Two start-ups have been named as winners of the city of Austin’s City:One Challenge which seeks to improve both mobility and access to healthy living in east Austin.
City:One Challenge is a crowd-sourcing platform created by Ford to help prepare cities for the future, bringing groups of people together to design and pilot new solutions to improve mobility.
Having been chosen from 12 finalists, Good Apple and Tappy Guide will split $150,000 in funding to test the implementation of their proposals in a real-world setting.
Good Apple is an Austin-based produce delivery service aiming to increase reliable access to healthy groceries in east Austin. The service partners with local farmers to rescue fresh fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go unsold, going on to inspect, package and deliver this food to local families.
By delivering food directly to families’ homes, Good Apple hopes to create a reliable, healthy service that also gives valuable time back to working families.
Tappy Guide is a mobile app that provides navigation guides for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, senior citizens and others with mobility impairments. In addition to offering guides for indoor and outdoor locations, the app employs live advisors who can provide people the comfort of interacting with a real person to truly understand their surroundings and accessibility needs.
“How wonderful that our city will now realise and benefit from the vision of these standout, local winners of the City:One Challenge,” said Steve Adler, mayor of Austin. “Austin is an incubator of innovation and I love that some of our newest and best ideas have now been crowd-sourced.”
Further support for the start-ups will be provided by the Austin Technology Incubator at the University of Texas, which will offer in-kind services and membership to its incubator. In addition to supporting the winners, the Austin Transportation Department and the Austin Transit Empowerment Fund are exploring further work with other challenge finalists.
“The selection of these winners wouldn’t be possible without the participation of Austin residents who brought up issues and put forward solutions based on their real-life experience of their city.”
Launched in Austin in June, the City:One Challenge aims to help prepare cities for the future by identifying new mobility designs and innovation that could improve the way people get around their city.
The platform brought together government officials, residents, start-ups and entrepreneurs in an effort to understand mobility issues and design solutions.
“The selection of these winners wouldn’t be possible without the participation of Austin residents who brought up issues and put forward solutions based on their real-life experience of their city,” added Jeff Jones, vice president, Ford City Solutions.
“For our cities to be successful, it’s crucial that local residents, businesses and governments all come together to identify opportunities for innovation and our City:One Challenge is designed to do just that.”
After hosting a series of workshops with east Austin community members, the challenge received more than 150 proposals for mobility solution pilots to address access to health. The challenge’s steering committee, comprised of mobility industry experts, healthcare organisations, community leaders and local residents, selected 12 finalists.
The finalists had the opportunity to work with the Austin Technology Incubator and participate in community immersion and racial equity experiences to further refine their proposals before the winners were selected.
City:One Challenge is sponsored by AT&T, Dell Technologies and Microsoft, whose participation is said to be key in bringing such a diverse group of stakeholders together to solve for some of east Austin’s toughest mobility challenges.
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