Urban-X, a smart city technology accelerator that is a collaboration between Hax and the car company Mini, kicked off its first batch of incubatees in NYC back in March.
Offering $60,000 in seed capital, mentorship, and access to design and manufacturing facilities around the world, the accelerator already has a first class of startups focused on hydroponic urban farming, keyless entry systems for buildings, high-tech composting, street-level sensor networks, and charging stations for commercial drones.
There are also two companies developing high-tech bike helmets: Brooklyness, which is focused on visibility and safety; and MindRider, which uses brainwave sensors to map out patterns of stress and relaxation as riders move around the city.
MindRider initially tried to market its helmets to individual riders, but co-founder Arlene Ducao says her team now sees data as the real product. Information from a fleet of test riders can be packaged as a quality-of-life measure for city neighborhoods, and Ducao says this approach meshes well with the Urban-X vision of “the city as a service”.
Urban-X is already taking applications for its next incubation round, which is slated to begin in August.