- Brooklyn, NY-based startup accelerator URBAN-X has announced its fourth cohort of companies to undergo a 20-week program that will equip them with resources and guidance to help develop smart city-related products and solutions.
- URBAN-X, which is backed by MINI, chose the startups out of a pool of 400 applicants based on their potential to address risks facing city residents and urban infrastructure.
- The selected startups are: Rentlogic, a rating system for the residential real estate market; Avvir, a tool that automates quality assurance for the construction industry; Campsyte, a booking site for outdoor event space; ClearRoad, a company that helps governments automate toll road pricing; Open Data Nation, a company that analyzes public data records for cities and insurance carriers; Park & Diamond, a company that is working to develop safer, more portable bike helmets; and Sapient Industries, a company that develops smart outlets.
While many startups have unique, fascinating ideas, some of those ideas never get off the ground without the assistance of accelerators like URBAN-X. Its rigorous 20-week program has proven to be successful for past cohorts — the first of which was launched in 2016 — due to the support of investors, urban policy experts, engineers, designers and software developers.
URBAN-X expects six startups from the most recent Cohort 03 will announce funding rounds just 90 days after the culmination of the program. "We are excited to help the Cohort 04 startup founders achieve the same results," Urban Us Co-Founder Mark Paris said in a statement.
URBAN-X launched in New York City, as opposed to Silicon Valley, due to the city’s density, access to customers and its capital. By opening up this opportunity in New York, the accelerator also helps to expand the playing field for tech companies that don’t want to relocate to the Silicon Valley area. As tech companies infiltrate urban areas from coast to coast, such programs add greater value by virtue of being offered in a variety of areas to ensure solutions are tailored to each urban environment.
"Tech companies are realizing the impact that they have on people’s lives in urban centers," Miriam Roure, program director at URBAN-X, said in a 2017 interview with Smart Cities Dive. "They are taking more upon themselves to be mindful of that impact."
The accelerator shows no signs of slowing down either, as applications are already open for the next class of startups, Cohort 05.