Urbantech: Better technology for cities of the future
Eight of the world's most promising, newly started and innovative technology companies have just been selected for the Nordic accelerator programme Urbantech. After last year's successful programme, a new cohort of start-ups will help to accelerate the development of new solutions for the sustainable cities of tomorrow.
According to the UN, up to 70 percent of the world's population is expected to live in cities by 2050. This creates major challenges and calls for new innovative and digital solutions that can push construction and urban development in a more efficient and sustainable direction.
Now, eight start-ups selected from across the globe will help to turbo-charge the development of tech-based solutions for future sustainable cities - in the Nordics, and around the world.
This is done through Urbantech - an innovation programme for the world's most promising and innovative technology start-ups. Three Danish corporations, COWI, VKR Holding / VELUX and EWII are behind the initiative, with support from philanthropic organisations Realdania and the Danish Industry Foundation.
In the Urbantech programme, the eight start-ups get the opportunity to scale and grow their solutions, through an intense and tailored acceleration process.
Urbantech is more than just creating new, exciting technical solutions for the cities. We are looking for answers and solutions to major societal challenges. Solutions that can help cities in the climate fight and with the resource challenges, but also in creating more health and security. Often new solutions come in the meeting between small and large companies, where new thinking is combined with market access and scaling, which is precisely the model in Urbantech,
Through Urbantech, the start-ups will team up with COWI, VKR Holding/VELUX and EWII. These three Danish companies will help the start-ups to further develop their technology and businesses. The innovative approaches coming into play range from advanced materials (e.g. Solartes and WattGlass), innovative uses of sensors (e.g. Breeze Technologies, CLIMAID and Linc), new ways to manage projects and assets in the urban space (CAALA and VisiLean), to gaining strategic insights from data flows (e.g. InfoTiles), plus technology with a potential to be applied at scale, yielding significant sustainability gains for cities across the world.
Urbantech is here to attract innovative products, creative companies and talented people to Denmark. In this way, an even stronger Danish ecosystem is built within urban solutions. It will benefit the established companies in the sector, but also the entrepreneurs, which will in the future spark new innovation bridging technology, sustainability and construction,
Urbantech creates business results
This is the second time Urbantech has run as a programme. During the first round, in 2019, the outcome was a range of pilot successes. These included transparent solar cells applied in new ways, sensors for improving indoor climate and sensor-based technology that minimises geotechnical uncertainties on megaprojects. Furthermore, for many start-ups, the collaboration provided a boost to their commercial development.
The business partners also experienced a business gain from the collaboration:
We look forward to this year's team of innovative companies with ideas for sustainable development of the cities of the future. Our experience from the first year is that this type of collaboration enriches both parties. Urbantech is also an important source of inspiration for our portfolio businesses - including product development in VELUX,
The Urbantech programme runs for a total of three years. Each year a group of start-ups from the urban tech field are invited into a three-month acceleration programme, with a subsequent alumni programme. Both Danish and International technology start-ups can apply.
This is the second time the programme is running. The first time was in the summer of 2019. BLOXHUB is again the venue for all physical events, however, due to COVID-19, large parts of the programme in 2020 will be held virtually.
The purpose of Urbantech is to link Danish strengths in architecture, design and urban development with international expertise, technological innovation and business development.
Urbantech was founded by COWI, VKR Holding / VELUX and EWII, which all invest time, talent, and resources in the programme. Urbantech is also supported by philanthropic organisations Realdania and the Danish Industry Foundation.
The programme is powered by Rainmaking in collaboration with BLOXHUB, the Danish Design Centre, the Danish Architecture Center and Amazon Web Services. Rainmaking operates and facilitates the programme.
Read more at urbantechprogram.io
About the VELUX Group
For almost 80 years, The VELUX Group has created better living environments for people around the world; making the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product programme includes roof windows and modular skylights, decorative blinds, sun screening products and roller shutters, as well as installation and smart home solutions. These products help to ensure a healthy and sustainable indoor climate, for work and learning, for play and pleasure. We work globally – with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 40 countries and around 11,500 employees worldwide. The VELUX Group is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by non-profit, charitable foundations (THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS) and family. In 2019, VKR Holding had total revenue of EUR 2.9 billion and THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS donated EUR 178 million in charitable grants. For more, information, visit www.velux.com.