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Urban start-ups address cities' pressing issues

Start-ups will take part in a 20-week intensive accelerator programme and receive $100,000 investment

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The Free Ride shuttle and its founders are among those chosen by the accelerator
The Free Ride shuttle and its founders are among those chosen by the accelerator

A free electric short-range ride-sharing company, an advanced climate control system for buildings and a machine learning solution that digitises construction processes are among the companies and solutions in the fifth cohort of the Mini-backed accelerator for start-ups, which aims to re-imagine city life.

 

Urban-X is part of the innovation and brand strategy practice at Mini and partners with venture firm, Urban.Us. The seven start-ups were selected from a competitive group of over 450 applicants from across the world.

 

Access to global network

 

Each company selected will participate in a 20-week intensive accelerator programme 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 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 start-up ecosystem, graphic designers and communications and PR experts.

“Our start-up companies are addressing some of the most critical issues that impact long-term sustainability of our cities today”

The programme will culminate in a demo day in March 2019, where teams will present their solutions. Following demo day, the companies are introduced to investors at investor days beginning in New York and the Bay Area.

 

Cohort 05 includes the following start-ups:

  • The Free Ride is an all-electric, short-range, ride-sharing company providing city-goers with free, sustainable transportation;
  • Borrow is bridging the gap between leasing, ownership and on-demand ride-sharing by providing short term electric vehicle leasing;
  • Thrilling is the first dedicated e-commerce platform for vintage and second-hand stores, reducing carbon, waste and water footprints;
  • Treau is building advanced climate control systems to bring sustainable, comfortable, and efficient cooling and heating to buildings everywhere;
  • GreenQ is creating truck-based waste analytics systems to improve logistics, diversion and recycling;
  • Toggle is building an automated process that utilises software and industrial robotics to reduce costs and increase productivity of construction projects;
  • GearBuddy uses IoT and machine learning to digitise every aspect of construction, including equipment like bulldozers and trucks, to make construction more efficient, effective and safer.

“Our start-up companies are addressing some of the most critical issues that impact long-term sustainability of our cities today,” said Esther Bahne, Mini head of brand strategy and innovation. “By investing in Urban-X, Mini is working to inspire entrepreneurship, design and collaboration with creative thinkers to create real solutions to real problems.”

 

Applications for Urban-X’s next cohort of start-ups, Cohort 06 are open. Interested early-stage companies can apply at www.urban-x.com/apply through March 15, 2019.

 

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