Press release


Five early-stage startups join accelerator backed by MINI and venture platform Urban Us to make an impact on urgent urban issues as the climate crisis reaches new heights

Brooklyn, NY,  September 20, 2021. URBAN-X, the leading urban technology startup accelerator backed by MINI and run in collaboration with Urban Us, today announced its tenth cohort of early-stage startups developing solutions for more vibrant cities, and a regenerative and inclusive economy. The five startups are using tools like machine vision and low-cost sensors to address the interrelated challenges of adaptability, circularity and economic opportunity.
Kicking off the start of Climate Week NYC, the launch of Cohort 10 comes as billions of dollars are being invested in climate tech by the public and private sector, aiming to help the nation recover from the pandemic and build a more resilient future.  
“Between the pandemic and recent extreme weather disasters in every corner of the world, there is an urgency to bring new solutions to market that reduce emissions, protect critical infrastructure and show a path to a circular economy. URBAN-X is committed to continue supporting entrepreneurs who are building a better future and challenging the status quo,” said Micah Kotch, Managing Director of URBAN-X
Throughout the duration of the 20-week program, the five companies will have access to URBAN-X’s expansive network of world-class design, engineering and brand experts from MINI and the BMW Group and a global network of mentors in customer development, product development, go-to-market and fundraising. The program will culminate in a summit and investor days this winter where the startups will present their market-ready solutions to a global investor community. 
The complete list of URBAN-X Cohort 10 companies include: 
  • Climatebase: The leading platform for climate employment, connecting mission-driven talent to impactful jobs at climate tech startups and environmental nonprofits around the world
  • LimeLoop: Data-driven packaging without the waste for e-commerce brands
  • Partsimony: An intelligent network for hardware companies and manufacturers to make smart decisions faster
  • Phuc Labs: Digitized separation and sorting of particles in fluids using computer vision, machine learning and AI
  • Plentify: An intelligent load management platform that connects home appliances to cleaner, cheaper energy
Launched by MINI in 2016 as part of their innovation and brand strategy practice focused on improving city life, URBAN-X supports up to 20 early-stage startups per year building solutions to address complex challenges facing cities. URBAN-X has supported over 70 companies, with 85% of companies having gone on to raise their next round of capital. 
Most recently, portfolio company Versatile, a construction technology company, secured $80M in their Series B, while Toggle, the leading construction robotics company using automation to optimize rebar assembly, and Thrilling, the Black and woman-owned digital marketplace for vintage and secondhand shopping, closed their Series A rounds. ClearRoad, the digital road pricing startup, also secured its seed round. 
"The very first idea of MINI back in 1959 was to provide a solution to the mobility pressing issues of that time. Since then, MINI has always believed in the power of clever solutions - entrepreneurs, designers and engineers have an indispensable role to play in our cities. Their ability to leverage creativity and speed is needed for a connected and sustainable future for urban cities – which are MINI’s natural habitat,” said Bernd Körber, Head of MINI. “Now supporting over 70 startups, we are excited to celebrate this major milestone with these exceptional founders, who are working to truly make an impact in this climate.”
“Cities encompass many of the issues and transitions that need to happen in the next decade,” said Shilpi Kumar, Partner at Urban Us. “We’re excited to be working with these startup teams who are building a range of critical solutions to upgrade our cities for climate change.”
URBAN-X is the leading accelerator for startups 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. Startups 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 11 are currently open at Find URBAN-X on Twitter & Instagram at @urbanxaccel and on Facebook at
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 113 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.
Journalist note: Media information about MINI and its products is available to journalists on-line at
About Urban Us
Urban Us is the leading early-stage investor for startups upgrading cities for climate change. Urban Us was founded in 2013 as an event to understand how to best support startups focused on cities and climate. Today, over 100 investments like Onewheel, Rachio, Bowery Farming, One Concern, Thrilling, Mark43, Cove Tool and Versatile are leading the way in areas like electrification of mobility, high performance building design, resilient food supplies and natural hazard risk management. 
The Urban Us platform includes the Urban Us Network, a resource for founders, investors, partners and customers. URBAN-X, in partnership with MINI, supports early-stage teams with company building and fundraising. Urban Us VC makes pre-seed and seed venture investments. Urban Us Credit serves teams needing access to all forms of non-equity capital for project finance, asset finance and inventory finance. Urban Gateway supports startups business development in Asia. 
Urban Us partners were ranked in the top 10 of nearly 400 investors in The VCs who founders love the most by TechCrunch and #1 early-stage climate fund in North America by Climate50. Previously the team worked for Citigroup, Microsoft, Prudential, Goldman Sachs, First Round Capital, Wellington Management and Roosevelt Institute and graduated from Harvard, MIT, Georgia Tech, NYU and UPenn. 

In case of media queries, please contact:
Molly Hendriksen
Andrew Cutler
Head of Corporate Communications, MINI USA