URBAN-X Accelerator by MINI Unveils Ninth Startup Cohort Tackling Climate Change, Connectivity, Mobility, and City Living
As cities look to adapt, eight early stage urbantech startups join accelerator backed by MINI and venture fund Urban Us with solutions that address pressing climate and urban challenges
BROOKLYN, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–URBAN-X, the leading urban technology startup accelerator backed by MINI and Urban Us, today unveiled its ninth cohort of early-stage startups building solutions to improve city life. The eight startups are developing new technologies across transportation and mobility, energy and the grid, the built environment and disaster preparedness.
The newest cohort comes at a pivotal moment, as city, state and federal leaders work to recover from a year full of challenges and look to implement resiliency-focused solutions. The founders in Cohort 09 are building technologies to increase sustainable transportation, support a transition to clean energy, improve disaster preparedness and combat loneliness. A video of these innovative startups can be viewed here.
“At URBAN-X, we are committed to Founders building solutions for our biggest challenges, and making city life brighter,” said Micah Kotch, Managing Director, URBAN-X. “In the face of a warming climate, and historic social and economic challenges brought on by the pandemic, we are proud to welcome this new cohort of startups, and we look forward to working side-by-side on their journey to product-market fit.”
The eight companies will be immersed in a 20-week intensive virtual accelerator program, during which they will receive support with customer development, product development, network-building and successful go-to-market strategies, all in preparation for fundraising. Throughout the duration of the program, companies have access to URBAN-X’s expansive network of global experts, including world-class engineers and designers from the BMW Group. The program will culminate in a Demo Day this Spring where teams will present their solutions to investors, policymakers, customers and the general public.
The complete list of URBAN-X Cohort 09 companies include:
- Builders Patch: data platform and marketplace for affordable and multifamily housing
- Domatic: product that centralizes AC/DC conversion at the source to pave the way for widespread solar-powered future that relies on DC
- Dorothy: machine learning platform improving disaster risk analysis at the property level
- OneRoof: a community building and resilience communications platform
- Oonee: protected bike parking operator and ecommerce platform for micromobility related services
- Origen: low-cost hardware for green hydrogen production for heavy-duty vehicles, industry, and for long-term back-up power
- Singularity: AI- and data-powered carbon intelligence and forecasting platform
- Urbio: software empowering cities and utilities to plan for and design the energy transition
Building upon its foundation of innovating sustainable mobility for city dwellers, MINI launched URBAN-X in 2016 as part of their innovation and brand strategy practice focused on improving city life. Now in its fifth year, URBAN-X has 65 companies in its portfolio, with 85% of companies having gone on to raise their next round of capital.
“MINI was built upon a foundation of innovating sustainable mobility for city dwellers, and today, continues to take bold steps in creating an electrified future and pushing new sustainability measures that help improve city life,” said Bernd Körber, Head of MINI. “We are thrilled to invest in the founders in Cohort 09 and to support these exceptional entrepreneurs along their journeys.”
“The pandemic has not slowed urbanization but it has revealed major opportunities to revisit some of the most persistent city challenges such as affordable housing, use of public spaces and increasing transportation options,” said Shilpi Kumar, URBAN-X Venture Partner at Urban Us. “The last few months have seen significant increases in global commitments to climate action. We’re excited to do our part as we begin our eighth year as a fund helping founders build startups to reduce GHG emissions and increase resilience.”
URBAN-X is the leading accelerator for startups reimagining city life. Founded by MINI and run in partnership with Urban Us, URBAN-X helps early-stage companies work with and in cities. URBAN-X has a global reach unparalleled by any other urbantech accelerator. Startups have access to a network of over 2,000 partners around the world, including entrepreneurs, investors, and public-sector leaders, who support founders through the URBAN-X program. Applications for Cohort 10 are currently open at www.URBAN-X.com. Find URBAN-X on Twitter & Instagram at @urbanxaccel and on Facebook at facebook.com/urbanxaccel.
About MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC, located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey and includes the marketing and sales organizations for the MINI brand. The MINI USA sales organization is represented by a network of 116 MINI passenger car dealers located throughout the US. MINI USA began selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2002 with the introduction of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S Hardtops. Since then, the MINI Brand in the U.S. has grown to encompass a model range of five unique vehicles.
Journalist note: Media information about MINI and its products is available to journalists on-line at www.miniusanews.com.
About Urban Us
Urban Us is the leading early stage investor for startups re-imagining cities. Cities will soon be home to 70% of the global population, who now face unprecedented risk from climate change. We believe cities are central to climate actions focused on GHG reduction and resilience and in the process of climate action we can also make cities more affordable and equitable.
Urban Us is frequently the first institutional startup investor in both debt and equity. Beyond investment funds, the Urban Us platform includes the Urban Us community, a resource for urbantech focused founders, investors, partners and customers. URBAN-X, in partnership with MINI, supports early stage teams with company building and fundraising. Affiliates include Perl Street which helps teams finance hardware and Urban Gateway which supports startups business development in Asia.
The Urban Us portfolio includes nearly 90 investments across real estate, infrastructure, energy, water, waste, food, transportation and public administration including health and security. Notable investments include, Bowery Farming, Starcity, One Concern, Future Motion, Seamlessdocs (Kofile), Evolve Energy (Octopus Energy), Versatile, Thrilling, BRCK and Rachio. Before Urban Us, the Urban Us team had three exits and ran a VC fund and municipal finance for Citi. Notable investments before Urban Us include Trialpay (Visa), Blue Bottle Coffee (Nestle), Refinery29 (Vice), Crowdtwist (Oracle) and ZocDoc.
Head of Corporate Communications, MINI USA