Smart city accelerator goes on world tour

The smart city accelerator URBAN-X is going on its first world tour in an effort to find start-ups across the US, Canada and Europe that can change and improve the way cities work.

URBAN-X is a Brooklyn-based smart city accelerator that wants to drive the energy transition at the level of the city. Every six months, it invests USD 100,000 in up to ten start-ups to help them work effectively with cities in sectors like transportation, real estate, local government, local services, and utilities. The start-ups go through a 20-week immersive programme.

The smart city accelerator focused on US cities and start-ups for its first two programme rounds. But now URBAN-X is on a world tour to broaden its scope and impact. From June to August, the company is travelling to 14 cities across the United States, Canada and Europe for its third programme round, including Chicago (22 June), Paris (6 July), London (10 July), Montreal (12 July) and Berlin (13 July).

The world tour will also help URBAN-X convince start-ups of their potential for cities. “They might not think of themselves as city projects, and we want to make sure we are tapping into those verticals,” said Miriam Roure, programme director at URBAN-X.

Start-ups that have already gone through the accelerator programme include contextere, an Industrial IoT software company enabling the connected workforce; Revmax, which develops fleet management and routing software for ride-hail vehicles; SENCITY, which developed an interactive waste bin that rewards the act of waste disposal; and Upcycles, which develops electric cargo bikes for moving goods around urban environments.

While similar accelerator programmes exist, including Google’s Sidewalk Labs, URBAN-X believes it has an advantage with its alumni network of some 100 founders.

“The ambition is to do something really, really well done,” said Roure.

The deadline for the third round is 21 July. According to SmartCitiesDIVE, URBAN-X is open to a range of ideas for this next group, but is especially interested in government technology, housing and built environments, and ideas that will grow in importance in the future.


Photo credit: Trey Ratcliff, flickr/Creative Commons


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