Press release


The three-day summit features eight early-stage start-ups alongside energy, real estate, and city experts on the power of innovation in tackling our most pressing urban and climate challenges

Brooklyn, NY,  June 1, 2021. URBAN-X, the leading urban technology start up accelerator backed by MINI and Urban Us, today graduates its ninth cohort of start-ups reimagining city life. This milestone also kicks off the first-ever URBAN-X Summit, a three day online event that will feature eight founders from Cohort 09 who will explore how new technologies can build safer, healthier, greener and more enjoyable cities. The inaugural event will also feature experts across cities, the built environment and energy and is done in partnership with Canary Media.
The URBAN-X Summit comes as cities are ascending from an unprecedented year and are increasingly looking to place equity and resilience at the center of their COVID-19 recovery strategies and amid growing calls for climate action. Cohort 09 solutions include secure bike parking for enhanced micro-mobility; disaster preparedness for homes and businesses; low-cost, affordable hydrogen; building communications platform; real-time carbon intelligence; affordable multifamily housing financing; and software fueling the clean energy transition.
“We are thrilled to showcase this diverse group of founders who are rethinking the way cities are built, lived in and powered in order to create a more sustainable future,” said Micah Kotch, URBAN-X Managing Director. “Under the intense stress of the pandemic, these founders have built cutting-edge solutions that challenge the traditional built environment and make smarter, more efficient cities feasible.”
The full list of Cohort 09 companies includes:
  • Builders Patch: Builders Patch is a SaaS platform revolutionizing housing finance for multifamily developers and lenders. The platform automates and manages the underwriting process and enables closing loans at lightning speed.
  • Dorothy: Dorothy provides cash advancement “gap loans” to individuals and small businesses who go through unexpected events.
  • Domatic: Domatic makes buildings smarter, healthier, and more efficient by reinventing electrical wiring to distribute power and intelligence with plug-and-play simplicity.
  • OneRoof: a communications platform that helps people living in the same building form a community and become more resourceful.
  • Oonee: smart, modular, customizable pods that provide secure parking for scooters and bicycles, while offering public space amenities.
  • Origen Hydrogen: low-cost, renewable hydrogen to reduce carbon emissions for industrial processes and heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Singularity: Singularity is a data-driven carbon intelligence platform that provides a suite of innovative products, developer APIs, and intelligent tools for companies to build the future of decarbonization solutions.
  • Urbio: Urbio is a SaaS platform that helps utilities plan for and design the most efficient energy infrastructure and technologies.
URBAN-X, launched by MINI in 2016 as part of the brand’s innovation practice and in partnership with venture firm Urban Us, twice a year invests up to $100,000 in up to 10 companies building solutions to address climate change and other challenges facing cities today. The URBAN-X Summit marks the start of the teams seeking additional investment to grow their companies and serves as a celebration of their hard work and determination across the 20-week, intensive program.
“The spirit of turning challenges into opportunity and our belief that cities are at the heart of innovation -- especially when it comes to sustainability and climate action -- is what led us to create URBAN-X to support start-ups working to make city life brighter,” said Bernd Körber, Head of MINI. “We are thrilled for the eight start-ups in Cohort 09 and look forward to their future successes outside of the accelerator.”
“Amidst the pandemic, there were significant shifts in our industries that put greater emphasis on creating a more resilient society. Cohort 09 has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing the needs for affordability, reliability, emissions reductions and environmental justice in an inclusive way,” said Shilpi Kumar, Partner at Urban Us. “The success of these eight companies will be vital in creating a sustainable urban environment for communities and businesses across the globe.”
The URBAN-X Summit takes place Tuesday, June 1st through Thursday, June 3rd beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET each day, with sessions that explore building strong communities, innovating in the built environment, and fueling decarbonization. The event will be livestreamed on YouTube
URBAN-X is the leading accelerator for start-ups reimagining city life. Founded by MINI and run in partnership with Urban Us, URBAN-X helps early-stage companies work with and in cities. URBAN-X has a global reach unparalleled by any other urbantech accelerator. Start-ups have access to a network of over 2,000 partners around the world, including entrepreneurs, investors, and public-sector leaders, who support founders through the URBAN-X program. Applications for Cohort 10 are currently open at Find URBAN-X on Twitter & Instagram at @urbanxaccel and on Facebook at
About Urban US
Urban Us is the leading early stage investor for startups re-imagining cities. Cities will soon be home to 70% of the global population, who now face unprecedented risk from climate change. We believe cities are central to climate actions focused on GHG reduction and resilience and in the process of climate action we can also make cities more affordable and equitable.
Urban Us is frequently the first institutional startup investor in both debt and equity. Beyond investment funds, the Urban Us platform includes the Urban Us community, a resource for urbantech focused founders, investors, partners, and customers. URBAN-X, in partnership with MINI, supports early stage teams with company building and fundraising. Affiliates include Perl Street which helps teams finance hardware and Urban Gateway which supports startups business development in Asia.
The Urban Us portfolio includes nearly 90 investments across real estate, infrastructure, energy, water, waste, food, transportation, and public administration including health and security. Notable investments include, Bowery Farming, Starcity, One Concern, Future Motion, Seamlessdocs (Kofile), Evolve Energy (Octopus Energy), Versatile, Thrilling, BRCK and Rachio. Before Urban Us, the Urban Us team had three exits and ran a VC fund and municipal finance for Citi. Notable investments before Urban Us include Trialpay (Visa), Blue Bottle Coffee (Nestle), Refinery29 (Vice), Crowdtwist (Oracle) and ZocDoc.
About MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC, located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey and includes the marketing and sales organizations for the MINI brand. The MINI USA sales organization is represented by a network of 116 MINI passenger car dealers located throughout the US. MINI USA began selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2002 with the introduction of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S Hardtops. Since then, the MINI brand in the U.S. has grown to encompass a model range of five unique vehicles.
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Molly Hendriksen
Andrew Cutler
Head of Corporate Communications, MINI USA