URBAN-X, an accelerator which takes on “some of the toughest challenges that cities face today”, talks to CleanTech News about city life and visions for improvement.
Living in a city has so much to offer residents – professional opportunities, more capital available, more cultural stimuli and even longer lifespans. However, the challenges of urban living are equally as significant and it’s not by chance that the spread of COVID-19 has thrived in urban settings.
Enter URBAN-X, an accelerator with bases in cities around the world, which hopes to change the city life for the better.
At URBAN-X, we believe that startups that address urban challenges hold the key to build a more sustainable and liveable future – that’s why we invest in urbantech companies,” says Miriam Roure, a Principal at the company.
In the last four years at URBAN-X, the company has invested in and helped launch 51 startups in the US, Europe and Asia.
This has covered mobility and transportation, real estate and construction, energy, water, waste, civic and government technologies.
Most of these companies either sell to cities or operate in highly regulated environments.
Adapting to the post-COVID-19 world
Like all businesses, URBAN-X is planning for what comes next – as life moves back to “the new normal”.
“The main challenge for urbantech is to address the inequality that has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” says Roure.
URBAN-X believes that building inclusive communities and systems that bring people together. Not only this, they are committed to continuing the investment in infrastructure technologies that make cities more resilient in the future and is the way forward.
However, URBAN-X is not ignorant of the human impact on climate change and the company is looking to reduce its carbon footprint.
“We believe that we need to fundamentally change the way in which live and build to enable a more sustainable inhabitance of this planet,” Roure continues.
Cities remain the most sustainable form of urban living due to the amount of shared resources and infrastructure. Besides, climate change is not going away. We want to make sure that with every investment we are a step forward in building the future that our planet deserves.”
Climate Robotics and Aquagenuity are two of URBAN-X’s most recent investments.
“Climate Robotics leverages robots and AI to sequester carbon, fight climate change and improve soils,” explains Miriam. “Climate Robotics has the potential to sequester up to 15 million tonnes of CO2 annually – equivalent to taking over 3 million cars off the road.”
Following the Flint Water Crisis (which began in 2014) concern about water safety has risen.
“The startup Aquagenuity uses big data to provide real-time insights into water quality across the U.S. through a single mobile app. Access to clean water is not a third-world issue — it impacts all of us,” says Roure.
“IBM’s The Weather Company has already partnered with Aquagenuity to use its API, with many other partnerships in the pipeline for later this year.”
Get in contact with URBAN-X
For those with a vision to tackle climate change, URBAN-X wants to hear from you.
“The ideal URBAN-X founder has a growth mindset, learns quickly and is deliberate about their culture,” concludes Miriam.
Startups can submit their application until October 8th, 2020 via the website.