Experience the complete overview via these interactive maps, made in partnership with Upgraded, a Finnish non-profit association for health and well-being
November 2021, TechBBQ co-hosted Urbantech NEXT, a day-long event to celebrate Urbantech’s startup accelerator program, powered by Rainmaking. The day featured talks by Dr. Leyla Acaroglu, Natalia Olson-Urtecho, and Nikolaj Sveistrup, as well as the founders interviewed below.
Written by Harry Ethan Justus
Dec 15, 2021 / 4 min. read
Dec. 15, 2021 / 5 min. read
A day full of celebration
The day was a celebration of the startups who have been part of the program, and an exploration of the future of Urbantech.
The event aimed to blur the lines between audience and stage, asking participants to get involved in conversations with the guest speakers and to delve deeper into the topics with people at their tables with aims of thinking about actionable next steps.
What is UrbanTech?
Urbantech is a technology vertical that focuses on making life better for people who live in cities. Urbantech companies take many forms, as is clear from the three companies we interviewed as part of this article.
Earlier this year we spoke to Michael Ambjørn, Managing Director of Urbantech at Rainmaking, who gave us a great overview of the Urbantech sector and the aims of the Urbantech at Rainmaking program.
To learn more about the Urbantech Accelerator and the companies “graduating” from the program, we spoke to the CEO’s of three startups who have gone through the accelerator over the past two years.
We asked each of them about their time in the accelerator, their key takeaways, and what’s next for their companies and Urbantech as a vertical.
Johnny Alexander Gunneng, CEO and co-founder of Infotiles
The first accelerator graduate we spoke to was Johnny Alexander Gunneng, CEO and co-founder of Infotiles, which is scaling into becoming the world’s leader in digital water.
They are doing this by leveraging their SaaS-based platform that allows cities and customers to, as Johnny Alexander put it, “act on fact.” Their primary focus is within water and wastewater management, an aspect of city life that is not seen every day by citizens but has a huge impact on daily living and the environment.
Johnny Alexander told us that one of their customers “has 3 million meters of pipe, and [distributes] water to 80,000 people. So instead of calendar based planning, we collect all the data from pipes, pump stations, work orders, weather stations, sensor and whatnot.”
In doing so, Infotiles solves a key problem that urban planners and managers face: taking care of their citizens at scale using data-driven methodologies to optimize resource use. Best of all, the city owns all the data, which InfoTiles calls “vendor-un-locking”.
As Johnny Alexander put it, Urbantech means “solving very complex, urban challenges. And in order to do that, you need to be able to solve both technical [problems], but also the process around how cities and companies sort of acquire new solutions and ownership of their data.”
Sofia Malmsten, CEO and co-founder of Parametric Solutions
The next accelerator graduate we spoke to was Sofia Malmsten, CEO and co-founder of Parametric Solutions.
Parametric Solutions is a Swedish-based company that aims to take the guesswork out of the early stages of urban architectural planning, so the architect can use their skills on the more creative elements of design.
As urbanization grows and more and more people move to cities, we will naturally see a greater demand for housing. As such, companies like Parametric Solutions provide a vital service by working with architects to make the early planning stages more efficient and systematized.
In doing so, the future of urban architecture can be efficient, creative, and innovative.
Robert Heinecke, CEO and founder of Breeze Technologies
Later, we spoke with Robert Heinecke, CEO and founder of Breeze Technologies.
Breeze Technologies has developed their own low cost air quality sensors, which are orders of magnitude cheaper and smaller than the sensors that most cities use— and just as effective.
In Robert’s words:
“We help businesses and cities worldwide to create a healthier environment through the application of the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence.”
In other words, using IoT technologies, Breeze is helping clients from California to Copenhagen to efficiently monitor air quality and improve urban living.
The future is bright for Urbantech.
As our cities grow, so too will opportunities for innovative companies who want to help make them more liveable and sustainable.
If you want to know more, you can check out Urbantech’s website, and see what events they have coming up. And of course remember to check out our blog for more stories about what’s happening in the Danish tech ecosystem!
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