Director, Business Model Innovation
Safety and security. Resiliency and reliability. Convenience and efficiency.
As our cities grow, so do the stresses on their infrastructure. In response to this issue, NextEnergy, along with our partners Wells Fargo, DENSO and DTE Energy, in June launched a call seeking connected, data-driven and interactive, or “smart”, ideas to address the needs (such as those listed above) crucial to the livelihood of our urban centers. Entrepreneurs, like many of you, answered the call by submitting their innovative ideas to be considered for a demonstration in Detroit.
The NextChallenge model benefits cities by accelerating market adoption of technologies that ensure livable and sustainable urban centers, while entrepreneurs benefit from having their ideas evaluated in a real-world setting and building relationships with industry and urban leaders. Further, NextChallenge helps industry to fast track partnership opportunities with vetted smart city solutions and tech innovators.
This summer, we received an impressive range of technology solutions from around the world vetted by experts representing industry, government, VCs and non-profits. Today, I’m excited to announce this year’s 10 finalists: Ambience Data, EcoBCG, Nextek Power Systems, Switched Source, Trafisense, Derq, EcoG, Greenlots, Smartcone, and Tome.
Their ideas utilize technology to tackle current and anticipated future challenges with mobility and the built environment — which includes homes, buildings, and infrastructure. Proposed solutions aim for safe streets to bike and ride; ensure reliable and resilient energy; support buildings that optimize energy use and provide healthy environments for occupants; and provide simple, convenient, and value added electric vehicle charging.
On December 13, the 10 finalists will come to NextEnergy in Detroit to pitch their ideas and compete for up to $100K to demonstrate their solution. Each pitch will be evaluated against several criteria including the solution’s unique approach, competitive advantage, and potential to scale.
I hope you can join us to learn more about their innovative concepts and to meet each of the entrepreneurs in person at the NextChallenge: Smart Cities Pitch Day!