IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

URBAN-X Goes Global With European, Asian Investments

The urban tech accelerator, backed by the automaker MINI, has focused on the U.S. in the past. Now it’s starting up a new program aimed at the international market, with four initial investments.

Globe illustration with language speech bubbles, world languages.
URBAN-X, an urban tech startup accelerator, is launching a new program aimed at working in more countries — with an initial cohort of firms in France, Italy, Singapore and Indonesia.

The accelerator, which has backed more than 80 companies across 11 cohorts since it launched in 2016, is run by the automaker MINI.

In the past, URBAN-X has focused on companies that are either in the U.S. or ready to work in the U.S., according to a spokesperson. The new initiative, the MINI Impact Program, won’t have that geographic constraint. It will take idea-, seed- and growth-stage firms.

Of the four new startups entering the program, perhaps the most relevant to government is the Italian business Wiseair, which measures outdoor air quality and provides local officials with a platform to analyze the data and make decisions based on it.

The other new companies are:

  • FabBRICK: A French startup using textile waste to create blocks that can be reused in interior paneling, furniture and other items.
  • Humfree: A Singapore-based electric scooter company.
  • Dulang: An Indonesian business that gives people tools to dispose of electronics without sending them to a landfill.

URBAN-X used to receive substantial support from the urban tech venture capitalist firm Urban.Us, but that firm has since reimagined itself as Third Sphere and stepped away from URBAN-X.