Press release


Rethinking coexistence in cities: The start-up Accelerator URBAN-X, initiated by MINI, is facing urban challenges with its new video campaign and presenting innovative solutions from creative thinkers.

Munich, Germany,  September 1, 2021. What if we could preserve the best sides of city life and change the worst? In the video campaign "Love the City x Hate the City" (#LTCxHTC), MINI presents different aspects of life in the city as well as the associated challenges and presents projects of the current cohort of the start-up accelerator URBAN-X. As part of this promotion of aspiring entrepreneurs, MINI is working with creative thought leaders to find new solutions for greater equity, participation and design opportunities.

"With #LTCxHTC, we celebrate our passion for cities and the people who live in them. We are giving the start-up founders and their courageous steps to tackle the most pressing challenges in our cities – such as mobility, security, urban infrastructure and energy – a stage," says Bernd Körber, Head of the MINI brand.

MINI operates the start-up accelerator URBAN-X together with the American venture fund Urban Us. The program was founded by MINI in 2016. Since its launch, more than 70 start-ups from different countries have already gone through the accelerator. A new cohort of up to ten urbantech start-ups is assembled every six months – selected from more than 1000 applications per year.

In a creative exchange with designers, engineers and developers of MINI, the founders of the selected start-ups are supported in the further development of their business model. The innovations created in this process address some of the most pressing urban challenges, from building technology and infrastructure to mobility and energy supply to public health and civic services. They create cities that we can all love.

“Amidst the pandemic, cities around the world are confronting issues of equity, access and opportunity while at the same time addressing resiliency and sustainability. With people rediscovering what they love about their cities and new solutions to address climate change and improve quality of life cropping up across the globe, now is the perfect time to reimagine city life and support the innovators who aim to do so,” said Micah Kotch, Managing Director of URBAN-X.

As part of the #LTCxHTC campaign, four innovative start-ups from the current cohort will also be presented. For example, the start-up Circuit, which offers free rides on-demand in bustling inner cities as an emission-free short-haul service. Circuit mediates passengers via app, helping to reduce congestion and eliminate the need for annoying parking.

The communication platform OneRoof helps people who live in the same house to network, get to know each other and feel more supported. Their goal is to turn a group of people who live under the same roof into a house community.

Thanks to modular, customizable bike pods, Oonee offers safe storage for scooters and bicycles in inner-city metropolitan areas. The easy-to-install pods facilitate sustainable urban mobility and enhance public space through seating and roof greening.

The start-up Thrilling is also part of the current URBAN-X cohort. Founded in the United States, the company is the first e-commerce platform to specialize in supporting small, independent vintage and secondhand stores. By communicating these offers, customers have the opportunity to minimize their ecological footprint when choosing their clothing.

MINI also remains true to its founding idea in supporting urbantech start-ups: to challenge the status quo and thus develop new, sustainable mobility solutions for city dwellers. With URBAN-X, MINI supports entrepreneurs, engineers and designers in the development of sustainable, vibrant and sustainable cities.

At the International Motor Show IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, visitors can find out about URBAN-X at the exhibition stand at the Summit on the exhibition grounds as well as in the MINI Pavilion on Lenbachplatz from 7 September to 12 September 2021 and learn more about the promising start-up teams and their projects. In addition, the start-up accelerator will also be presented in the BMW Welt.


In case of queries, please contact:

Corporate Communications

Julian Kisch, Press Spokesperson Product Communication MINI
Tel.: +49-89-382-38072

Andreas Lampka, Head of Communication MINI
Tel.: +49-89-382-23662

Jennifer Treiber-Ruckenbrod, Head of Communication MINI and BMW Motorrad
Tel.: +49-89-382-35108


The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2020, the BMW Group sold over 2.3 million passenger vehicles and more than 169,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2020 was € 5.222 billion on revenues amounting to € 98.990 billion. As of 31 December 2020, the BMW Group had a workforce of 120,726 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company set the course for the future at an early stage and consistently makes sustainability and efficient resource management central to its strategic direction, from the supply chain through production to the end of the use phase of all products.