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Urban future winners announced

NYU Tandon Urban Future Lab’s competition seeks to find the most revolutionary smart mobility, smart city and smart gird technologies

The Urban Future winners who collectively receive more than $150,000
The Urban Future winners who collectively receive more than $150,000

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering has announced the winners of its 2017 Urban Future Competition, which debuts the world’s most revolutionary smart mobility, smart city, and smart grid technologies.


Held by the Urban Future Lab, New York City’s hub for smart cities, smart grid, and clean energy, the competition brought together the brightest entrepreneurs, mission-driven investors, policy leaders, and corporate sponsors for a prestigious pitch competition.


The 2017 competition drew a record-breaking number of applications, with submissions from more than 22 countries and sponsorships from BP Ventures, The New York Community Trust (NYCT) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).


The three winners, chosen by industry-leading investors and corporate leaders, represent the world’s most promising companies and technologies across three tracks: BP smart mobility, NYCT smart city, and NYCT smart grid. Dollaride won smart mobility category, Avvir won the NYCT smart city category, and Simuwatt won the NYCT Smart Grid category.

  • Brooklyn-based Dollaride empowers every-day people to overcome the challenges of living in transportation deserts by using "dollar vans." The company’s ride-sharing technology makes this private network of vans accessible to more passengers and neighbourhoods who struggle with weak public transit options
  • Avvir is a construction technology company based in New York City that employs computer vision and deep learning to provide automated construction verification and progress monitoring. It offers customers assurance that buildings are developed to spec and on schedule
  • Boulder, Colorado-based simuwatt enables building owners, experts and utilities to identify, prioritize, and realize energy efficiency investments through standardized data acquisition, modelling and analytics.

Each Urban Future Competition Prize winner received a non-dilutive, non-equity cash prize of $50,000 and office space in Urban Future Lab’s internationally recognised cleantech incubator program, ACRE, for a minimum six-month engagement.


These winners will join a portfolio of market-ready companies that strategic funders and corporate investors turn to for new deals and technology investments. The competition’s $50,000 cash prizes are funded by BP Ventures, NYCT, and NYSERDA.


"The Urban Future Competition attracted a record number of applicants from all over the world. The best of the best will now work at Tandon’s Urban Future Lab in Downtown Brooklyn, building their market-ready solutions to climate change and making our cities, our grid, and our transportation sectors smarter, cleaner, and more equitable," said Pat Sapinsley, managing director of cleantech initiatives at NYU Tandon. "We are thrilled to be building the New York clean-energy economy by helping these young companies scale up."


All finalists participated in an exclusive pitch competition in New York City. Jurors included: Daniela Proske of BP’s Corporate Ventures Team; Lila Preston, partner at Generation Investment Management; Alex Wallen of Breakthrough Energy Ventures; and Adam Ruder, programme manager at NYSERDA.


Competition finalists came from a diverse range of industry verticals including construction, ride-sharing, grid infrastructure, agriculture, building automation, artificial intelligence, machine vision, blockchain, electric vehicle, and autonomous vehicle technologies.


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