Top 10 named for NextChallenge: Smart Cities Competition
Finalists will compete for up to $100K in grant awards and new People’s Choice Award
DTE Energy 1.313.235.5555
DETROIT, Nov. 27, 2017 – NextEnergy, DENSO, DTE Energy and Wells Fargo recently announced the top
10 finalists for the second annual NextChallenge: Smart Cities, a global competition challenging
innovators to find and demonstrate hardware and software technology solutions to address new
demands in urban areas.
Finalists will compete for up to $100,000 to demonstrate their solution in a real world setting. New this
year, a People’s Choice Award will be determined by audience participation collected using an app for
“NextChallenge helps the industry to fast track partnership opportunities with vetted smart city
solutions and tech innovators,” said Jean Redfield, president and CEO, NextEnergy. “We received more
than 100 applications from around the world and we’re looking forward to the finalists’ presentations.”
The 2017 finalists are:
Ambience Data is focused on big data for smarter cities. Its End-to-End Smart Building Monitoring
utilizes an IoT hardware and software package to monitor indoor air quality in real-time using a
strategically deployed network of sensors. The data enables them to optimize HVAC systems, reduce
energy costs, and increase the health and well-being of building occupants.
Derq, an MIT spin-off with a mission to eliminate road accidents by using artificial intelligence, is
showcasing the benefits of Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) connected technologies on road safety and
mobility in Detroit and beyond. Artificial Intelligence algorithms within their patented system can detect
and predict dangerous or congested traffic scenarios and alert connected vehicles nearby through shortrange
Eco BCG offers turnkey services for energy efficiency, water treatment, power generation, waste
management, and smart agricultural solutions. Their Energy Optimization Dashboards help museums
capture critical data needed to attain energy efficiency targets while enabling the museum to teach the
general public about energy efficiency.
EcoG is a cloud-based platform providing a customized electric vehicle (EV) fast charging experience. Its
IoT operating system adds an API-Layer on top of electric vehicle chargers, enabling the monetization
and integration of business-driven applications and services with the charging infrastructure.
GreenLots offers a comprehensive network management platform for both site hosts and electric
vehicle drivers. It combines smart grid technology with energy management systems based on its SKY
platform. Additionally, the Maven and GreenLots mobile app are integrated to enable drivers to sign up,
share and charge an electric car sharing fleet with supporting direct current (DC) fast charging
Nextek Power Systems provides DC power networking solutions to enhance the flexibility, reliability,
and efficiency of energy systems in buildings. Nextek is expanding the functionality of its platform to
provide a secure beacon function, allowing authenticated users to move throughout a building,
whithout repeated scanning. As a result, the building can become aware of the presence of the user’s
profile and react accordingly.
SmartCone Bicycle-Pedestrian Safety Solution makes intersections safer through an innovative
platform that uses a combination of heat detection cameras and invisible trip wires to detect nonmotorized
transport. The software triggers flashing lights on eye-level bollards to notify drivers when it’s
safe to proceed and is capable of recording video, capturing license plates of dangerous drivers, and
providing pedestrian and cyclist counts.
Switched Source LLC is a next generation startup providing power flow control technology solutions for
distribution companies. Their patented Distribution Tie Controller device helps increase the efficiency
and reliability of the last mile of electricity delivery of the electric grid for urban and suburban users –
giving electric distribution companies a new level of control for managing power flows.
Tome, a leader in the design, development, validation and launch of mobility products, is developing a
Bicycle to Vehicle (B2V) safety system in partnership with Trek Bikes and the University of Michigan to
map the most dangerous areas on road, and provide alerts for vehicles and cyclists.
Trafisense is presenting a hardware/software solution for continuous real-time monitoring of dry-type
power transformers based on proprietary machine-learning technology, offering accurate maintenance
planning and early warning of high-risk situations. By processing data feeds from more than 10 electrical
and environmental properties to identify the risk status of the hardware, Trafisense is able to notify the
customer of exceptional conditions several days or weeks before they manifest.
The program tasked technology providers with proposing hardware and software solutions within one
or more of the following categories: smart parking, smart mobility, smart infrastructure, and smart
buildings. Innovations should be connected, interactive and data driven (i.e., “smart”), and contribute to
safer, more sustainable communities.
Finalists will pitch their ideas and present a video in-person to judges and guests at NextEnergy Center in
Detroit on Dec. 13, 2017. Winner(s) will execute pilots of their solution in 2018. For more information about NextChallenge or to register to attend Pitch Day, visit https://nextenergy.org/nextchallengepitchday/.
Founded in 2002 as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, NextEnergy is an innovation center accelerating
advanced energy, mobility and built environment technologies to enable smarter and more sustainable
cities. Since its inception, NextEnergy has worked with more than 400 companies, universities, federal
agencies, and philanthropic organizations to drive more than $1.5 billion in advanced energy and
mobility technology investments. For more information about how we’re accelerating technologies that
transform how we use energy to live and move, visit nextenergy.org.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with
$1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them
succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking,
insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,400
locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42
countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With
approximately 268,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.
Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest
corporations. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Wells Fargo No. 3 on its most recent list of the top
corporate cash philanthropists. In 2016, Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 14,900 nonprofits and
Wells Fargo team members volunteered 1.73 million hours with 50,000 nonprofits. Wells Fargo’s
corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on three priorities: economic empowerment in
underserved communities, environmental sustainability, and advancing diversity and social inclusion.
News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.
About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and
management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an
electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving
1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses
focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy
marketing and trading. As one of Michigan’s leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth
and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy,
volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.
About DENSO in North America
DENSO is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the
areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. With its North American
headquarters located in Southfield, Michigan, DENSO employs more than 23,000 people at 28
consolidated subsidiaries and 4 affiliates across the North American region. Of these, 25 are
manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone,
DENSO employs more than 17,000 people in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky,
Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. DENSO’s North
American consolidated sales totaled US$9.6 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. For more
information, go to www.denso.com/us-ca/en. Connect with DENSO on Facebook at
DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan has more than 200 subsidiaries and
affiliates in 38 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs more than 150,000 people
worldwide. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, totaled US$40.4 billion. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development.
DENSO common stock is traded on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges. Connect with us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DENSOinNorthAmerica