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Smart cities accelerator Urban-X graduates latest cohort of start-ups

The six early-stage start-ups showcased hardware and software technology solutions that aim to help combat the climate crisis and to build equitable, sustainable cities.

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Urbantech start-up accelerator Urban-X has graduated its latest cohort of six early-stage start-ups building hardware and software technology solutions that aim to help combat the climate crisis and to build equitable, sustainable cities.

 

The six founders, from cities around the globe, presented their solutions online during a virtual demo day to an audience of investors, customers and public-sector leaders, to close out the 20-week accelerator programme.

 

Smart intersections

 

The hardware and software solutions showcased included robots that roam the land to sequester carbon; 10x cheaper EV charging without wires; smart intersections that cut congestion by half; algorithms for EV purchase intent and optimised charging infrastructure; an API to instantly optimise logistics; and the world’s largest database of hyperlocal water quality data.

 

“We are in the midst of regulatory and technological breakthroughs that are enabling a new generation of leaders to build our cities for the better,” said Micah Kotch, managing director, Urban-X.

 

“The founders in Cohort 08 are rethinking outdated systems, renewing inefficient infrastructure and creating the foundation for more equitable urban systems, all during one of the most challenging times we’ve seen in decades.”

 

Urban-X, launched by European automaker Mini (marque) in 2016 as part of the brand’s innovation practice and in partnership with venture firm Urban Us, twice a year invests up to $150,000 in up to 10 companies building solutions to address climate change and other challenges facing cities today.

 

 

The full list of Cohort 08 companies were:

  • Adiona: optimises the efficiency of logistics, supply chain and mobile workforce organisations through artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Aquagenuity: the “Google Search” for water quality, helping you check your water as easily as you check the weather
  • Climate Robotics: builds robots to efficiently generate biochar to sequester carbon and improve soils, starting with urban land
  • Mobilyze: data-analytics platform that optimises the location of electric charging stations
  • Resonant Link: breakthrough wireless charging technology for fast, zero-maintenance, and low-cost power to robots and electric vehicles
  • Xtelligent: next generation traffic signal network enabling the connected, automated, and multi-modal transportation future.

“We depend on founders to work at the edge of science fiction and reality to explore new approaches to upgrade cities for climate. When they succeed they will do much more than generate investor returns – they will inform city and climate policy and generate public benefits from GHG reductions to clean drinking water.” said Shaun Abrahamson, Urban-X Investment Committee and managing partner at Urban Us.

“When they succeed they will do much more than generate investor returns – they will inform city and climate policy and generate public benefit”

“Founders have had to quickly adjust to a post-Covid world that has changed how they build, sell and raise funds. In spite of these changes, this cohort is thriving and we’re excited for more people to learn about what they’re building.”

 

Urban-X claims 80 per cent of its companies have gone on to raise their next round of capital. This month, it reports, Cohort 06 alum, Cove Tool, a building design platform for automated performance and cost, announced $5.7m in series A funding. In addition, Evolve Energy, a wholesale energy company (another Cohort 06 company), was acquired by Octopus Energy, a UK-based energy retailer valued at more than $1bn, to accelerate the green energy future in the US.

 

Applications for Urban-X Cohort 09 are open until 22 October. The programme will run from December 2020 to April 2021.

 

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