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URBAN-X Invests in Startup to Improve Garbage Collection

Backed by $100,000 and a support program from the startup accelerator, Israel-based GreenQ joins the U.S. gov tech sector alongside Rubicon and others as a competitor in waste-management technology.

An Israeli company focused on garbage collection efficiency was among seven startups chosen by URBAN-X, a New York startup accelerator working with venture capital firm Urban.Us, for its fifth cohort.

GreenQ, established in 2015, fits cameras and load sensors onto garbage trucks and other equipment, which send real-time data to an analytics platform that converts the information into practical insights.

GreenQ’s website describes three main components to its system: tracking or measuring devices, a recommendations program that automatically suggests logistical improvements and a dashboard with reports and analytics. Tracking devices can be attached to loader trucks, grapple trucks, stationary compactors, lifting cranes and underground containers. By recording pickup times, pickup locations, compactor or container fill levels and other related measurements, GreenQ’s products propose to give waste-removal agencies hard data to reduce expenses, reduce emissions and provide better services to citizens.

With backing from URBAN-X, GreenQ steps into territory well-trod by companies like Rubicon Global, an Atlanta-based company with clients across the U.S. and 19 other countries. Previously focused on the private sector, Rubicon tested a new cloud-based platform last year in Atlanta and Columbus, Ga., and Santa Fe, N.M., which also turned garbage trucks into roving data-collectors.

URBAN-X chose GreenQ and six other startups from among more than 450 applicants worldwide for its fifth cohort. All seven will receive $100,000 and participate in a 20-week intensive accelerator program to develop their product and market strategy, then demo the results at an event in March 2019.

Although GreenQ lists a staff of just three, URBAN-X’s website indicates that they have customers in Israel and Europe and are already in talks for a pilot with Waste Management, the largest garbage-collector in the United States.

Also in the accelerator's fifth cohort are:

  • Borrow, a service for leasing electric vehicles short-term
  • The Free Ride, an urban ride-sharing company for electric vehicles
  • GearBuddy, which uses IoT and machine learning to make construction equipment "smart" and able to inform safety, efficiency and planning
  • Thrilling, an e-commerce platform for vintage and second-hand clothing stores
  • Toggle, which uses software and industrial robotics to cut costs and increase productivity of construction projects
  • Treau, which is building HVAC systems with proprietary heat-exchanger technology that cuts costs and carbon emissions
Previous URBAN-X cohorts have included Roadbotics, Open Data Nation and Sencity.