MINI-backed urbantech startup accelerator URBAN-X announces Cohort 08; launches first-ever fully remote program
The last time we wrote about URBAN-X was back in 2019 when the MINI-backed urbantech startup accelerator launched its sixth startup cohort. A lot has changed since then. Today, URBAN-X announced the launch of its latest class, Cohort 08. This newest class of companies comes during a critical moment for cities, as local leaders across the world are determining how to rebuild our economic and social infrastructure in ways that foster resilience and equality for all.
To do just that, Cohort 08 includes companies like Aquagenuity, which leverages data to avoid another Flint, MI and ensure safe drinking water for all, and Climate Robotics, which is building robots to efficiently generate biochar to sequester carbon. Six early stage urbantech startups join accelerator backed by automaker MINI and venture fund Urban Us to reimagine city life with solutions across climate change, mobility and logistics, energy & water
Reflecting the current climate, all companies are participating remotely from locations across the country which include Atlanta, Sydney, San Francisco, Boston, Burlington and Los Angeles. This newest cohort of companies comes during a critical moment, as municipal officials across the world are determining how to rebuild our economic and social infrastructure in ways that foster resilience and equality for all. The founders in Cohort 08 are building solutions to ensure access to clean drinking water and electric vehicle charging, last mile delivery and field services, intelligent traffic management, and carbon sequestration.
“Now more than ever, we are seeing urgent calls to improve the status quo,” said URBAN-X Managing Director, Micah Kotch. “We are excited to get to work with this impressive group of founders to help them build creative solutions for a brighter urban life.”
According to the announcement, the six companies will be immersed in a 20-week intensive accelerator program, conducted completely online, during which they will receive guidance on 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 an online Demo Day during Climate Week this September, where teams will present their solutions to an audience of investors, policymakers, customers and more.
The full list of URBAN-X Cohort 08 companies include:
- Adiona: Optimizes the efficiency of logistics, supply chain and mobile workforce organizations through AI.
- Aquagenuity: The “Google Search” for water quality, helping you check your water as easily as you check the weather.
- Climate Robotics: Builds robots to efficiently generate biochar to sequester carbon and improve soils, starting with urban land.
- Mobilyze: Data-analytics platform that optimizes the location of electric charging stations.
- Resonant Link: Breakthrough wireless charging technology for fast, zero-maintenance, and low-cost power to robots and EVs.
- Xtelligent: Next generation traffic signal network enabling the connected, automated, and multi-modal transportation future.
Aquagenuity Founder and data scientist Doll Avant, is a TEDx Speaker who began researching water quality after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Today, she states, “At Aquagenuity, we believe that water is not a political issue; it’s a human issue. That’s why we’ve built technology to help consumers, corporations and cites check their water quality as easily as they check the weather. We’re excited to join URBAN-X and build on our critical work helping everyday people answer the question ‘What’s In Your Water?’ and understand what it means for their health and the environment.”
MINI launched URBAN-X in 2016 as part of its innovation and brand strategy practice focused on improving city life. URBAN-X engages with the brightest minds solving some of the most complex issues people living in cities face today, like poor road infrastructure, pollution, food waste, inefficient construction and job displacement. The accelerator now has 57 companies in its portfolio, with 85% of companies having gone on to raise their next round of capital.
“MINI began as a creative mobility solution in response to a global crisis in 1959. This same resolve shines through URBAN-X as it helps to enable a new generation of entrepreneurs solving for our cities’ most pressing challenges,” said Mike Peyton, Vice President, MINI of the Americas. “We are excited to support the companies in Cohort 08, and look forward to seeing how they develop their bold and innovative solutions.”
In 2017, Urban Us partnered with URBAN-X to help fund and develop the accelerator’s next generation of human-focused city innovation.
“Technology, investment and mentorship have the power to advance the low carbon, resilient and high density future we need for our cities,” said Shaun Abrahamson, URBAN-X Investment Committee and Managing Partner at Urban Us. “We are thrilled to have this new group of founders join URBAN-X to build creative solutions that tackle climate change and the biggest issues facing our cities.”
URBAN-X is a 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. During the year, URBAN-X leadership visits cities worldwide—in the US, Europe, Asia and beyond—to meet entrepreneurs and individuals shaping the future of urban life. URBAN-X is based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
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 120 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.