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New URBAN-X Cohort Has Ideas for Public Spaces, Firefighters

Seven more startups have joined URBAN-X’s accelerator program, which now offers $150,000 and 20 weeks of hands-on help from a global network of experts. Four of them are gov tech companies, tackling a variety of niches.

URBAN-X, a New York-based accelerator for urban tech startups, has announced a sixth cohort comprised of seven companies, several of which could yield safety and service improvements for local governments.

Chosen from among hundreds of applicants around the globe, the cohort includes the following startups with ideas for the public sector:

  • 3AM Innovations, which wants to use data automation, shareable electronics and decentralized software to reduce firefighter confusion during emergencies
  • Hubbster, which aims to improve existing public spaces by turning them into sites for games or social experiences
  • Pi Variables, which is making intelligent software and hardware to improve safety for people who work on roadways, including work-zone personnel, law enforcement, fire equipment personnel, utility and maintenance vehicles, helicopter pilots and maritime navigators
  • Varuna, a cloud-based platform for water utility providers that uses data analytics and insights to improve efficiency and situational awareness
The other three members of the cohort are Cove.Tool, which is using automated performance modeling on early building designs to save time and money; Evolve Energy, which aims to cut carbon emissions and energy costs with wholesale power prices and IoT devices; and Food for All, a marketplace for surplus food in which restaurants can sell their surplus meals for at least 50 percent off.

Through URBAN-X’s 20-week program, each of these startups will develop their solutions and go-to-market strategies with hands-on assistance from experts in URBAN-X’s global network, including BMW engineers and designers, software developers, and experts in policy, marketing and communication.

“Cohort 06 is working on solutions to some of the most critical issues impacting our cities today,” said Esther Bahne, MINI’s head of brand strategy and innovation, in a statement.

The accelerator program has grown since its inception in March 2016, when the first two cohorts received $60,000 per company for a 14-week program. The past three cohorts got $100,000 per company for 20 weeks, and Cohort 06 will be the first class to receive $150,000 per company.

The program will effectively conclude with a “Demo Day” during Climate Week NYC in September, when teams will present their solutions to investors, policymakers and customers. Company representatives will also be able to meet with investors at subsequent events in New York and the Bay Area.

According to the news release, URBAN-X now has 44 companies in its portfolio, 85 percent of which have gone on to raise their next round of capital.

Applications for Cohort 07 are open here until Oct. 1.