Press release


Entrepreneur, Investor, and Engineer Saul Griffith to Deliver Keynote Address at Online Summit

Brooklyn, NY ,  January 11, 2022. URBAN-X, the leading accelerator for startups reimagining city life backed by MINI and Urban Us, today will hold its tenth Demo Day since it was founded five years ago, in 2016. The virtual event will celebrate URBAN-X’s latest cohort of startups, including pitches from the companies’ founders and a live Q&A with global investors. Saul Griffith, founder and chief scientist of Rewiring America and Otherlab, will deliver the keynote address. The event will be livestreamed today, December 11th on YouTube beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Hailing from South Africa, California, Massachusetts, and New York, five founders will pitch their innovative solutions to a live audience of investors, customers, and public-sector leaders. From turning home appliances into distributed energy resources, transforming shipping and logistics into closed loop systems, improving battery recycling, building more resilient supply chains, and mobilizing talent for a climate positive world, these teams are reshaping the cities of tomorrow through revolutionary technology.
“For all the daunting aspects of the climate crisis, and all of the challenges facing cities today, we have a unique — and urgent — opportunity to bring fresh ideas that spur hope and can reimagine what our future can be,” said Micah Kotch, Managing Director of URBAN-X. “We’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most exciting companies taking these challenges on in our 10th cohort in just five years. They are building the types of next-generation technology that is exactly what we need to help our world adapt quickly in response to the dynamic, rapidly changing needs of a city.”
Throughout the duration of the 20-week program, the five companies had full 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 complete list of URBAN-X Cohort 10 companies include:
  • Climatebase is the leading platform and community for climate employment. They're on a mission to accelerate climate solutions by mobilizing the world's talent to work on climate.
  • LimeLoop's shipping platform provides e-commerce retailers with visibility, security, and predictive analytics. Their no-waste solution is built around reusable packaging for positive economic and environmental impact.
  • Partsimony is building a cognitive manufacturing supply chain that leverages transactional data to provide deep insights around Manufacturer Discovery, Design Intent, and Supply Chain Resilience.
  • Phuc Labs is pioneering AI-powered fluid-based sorting. Their systems enable the reclamation of raw materials, for instance by separating valuable metals during battery recycling.
  • Plentify accelerates the use of renewable energy by connecting home appliances to cheaper, cleaner energy. They do this with a load management platform that balances the needs of the user and the grid for 5-10x cheaper than batteries.
URBAN-X, launched by MINI in 2016 as part of the brand’s innovation practice and in partnership with venture firm Urban Us, supports companies building solutions to address climate change and other pressing challenges facing cities today. Since then, URBAN-X has built a proven track record in helping early-stage companies secure funding from leading investors.
For example, cove.tool, a low carbon design building startup, recently secured a $30M Series B with the support of Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition. OneRoof, a social platform founded by a pandemic-induced desire to combat loneliness at home also raised a $1.25M seed round, while BluePrint Power, and energy startup turning commercial buildings into power plants was acquired by BP.
“MINI was built upon a foundation of innovating sustainable mobility for city dwellers and has become a catalyst for innovation and change through URBAN-X, where we’ve invested in more than 75 startups that are building solutions to some of our most pressing urban challenges,” said Bernd Körber, Head of MINI. “Through the use of technology and co-creation via URBAN-X, MINI is proud to engage with the brightest minds solving some of the most pressing issues in our cities.”
“Cities can look to innovation for solutions to climate change, inclusive economic growth and ways to establish community,” said Shilpi Kumar, Partner at Urban Us. “In the past five months, Cohort 10 founders fine-tuned their companies to set themselves up for growth and maximize impact. We’re excited for our founders and look forward to continuing to support them on their journeys.”
For more information on Demo Day 10, visit

URBAN-X is the leading program for startups reimagining city life. Founded by MINI, URBAN-X leverages its expansive network and tech and design expertise to support companies shaping the future of cities through cutting-edge technology. URBAN-X has a global reach unparalleled by any other urbantech accelerator, with 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.
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 authorized MINI USA dealer organization is represented by a network of 115 locations comprised of 105 MINI full passenger car sales and service dealers and 10 service exclusive outlets 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. 
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