Urban Future Lab Competition To Showcase World’s Top Smart City, Smart Grid, and Smart Mobility Technology Startups

Winners get $50,000 Each and a Spot in New York City’s Longest-Running Cleantech Incubator Program

NEW YORK – The Urban Future Lab, New York City’s hub for smart cities, smart grid, and clean energy at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, announced the launch of its 2017 Urban Future Competition during today’s NY REV Future 2017 conference.

Sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Urban Future Competition debuts the world’s most revolutionary smart city, smart grid, and smart mobility technologies by bringing the brightest entrepreneurs together with mission-driven investors, policy leaders, and corporate sponsors for a prestigious pitch competition in New York City. The winner in each of three categories will get $50,000 cash and the opportunity to grow his or her business into a successful venture in one of New York State’s most successful and longest-running cleantech business incubation programs, ACRE, housed in the Urban Future Lab in Downtown Brooklyn.

"Startup Genome’s 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem Report identified New York City as the second largest startup ecosystem in the world. The Urban Future Lab is that ecosystem’s hub for all things smart city, smart grid, and clean energy,” said Pat Sapinsley, managing director of cleantech initiatives at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. “We are fortunate to be at the intersection of New York’s supportive state and municipal policies and in a city whose massive size and diverse population makes it the ideal laboratory for creating and testing solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges pertaining to sustainable urban development. Winners of the 2017 competition will join our vibrant community of change agents building a smarter, cleaner future for cities around the world.”

Non-dilutive, non-equity, cash prizes of $50,000 will be awarded to the top company in each of the competition’s three categories: the Smart City track, the Smart Grid track, and the Smart Mobility track. Applications for the Smart Mobility track could pertain to electric vehicles (EVs) and EV infrastructure solutions, high performance and low carbon vehicle materials, autonomous vehicle technology and mobility artificial intelligence (AI), digital tools for more connected mobility, alternative fuel technologies and infrastructure, or freight and logistics optimization solutions. Applications for the Smart City track could pertain to urban infrastructure and resiliency, Internet of Things, sensor networks, analytics, or related themes. Applications for the Smart Grid track could pertain to renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization, distributed generation, microgrids, and more.

“Since winning the 2016 competition and joining the ACRE incubator program at the Urban Future Lab, Fentrend has received $5.5 million in client projects, established a strategic partnership with the largest window contracting company in New York City, and has seen a 45 percent increase in revenue,” said Andy Huh, co-founder of Fentrend.

ACRE is one of six cleantech incubators sponsored by NYSERDA. Additional NYSERDA incubators are located at academic institutions and venture development organizations in Long Island, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany.

In joining the ACRE incubator at the Urban Future Lab, winners gain unprecedented access to the competition’s strategic partners and corporate sponsors. They also benefit from networking events, workshops and skills enhancement boot camps, and share experiences, challenges, solutions, and contacts with fellow entrepreneurs.

Alicia Barton, president and CEO at NYSERDA said, “The State’s clean energy incubators are playing a vital role in advancing innovative companies and business models that will help New York meet Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading energy goals. I look forward to congratulating the winner of the competition and watching the company become part of New York’s energized clean energy community.”

Applications to the Urban Future Competition are now open until December 1, 2017. For more information and to apply, visit urbanfuturecompetition.com.


About the NYU Urban Future Lab and ACRE
The Urban Future Lab (UFL) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering is New York City’s premier innovation hub for smart cities, the smart grid, and clean energy. The UFL is home to programs focused on policy, education, and market solutions for the green economy. ACRE, the UFL’s flagship program, is a business incubator that supports the growth of high-impact early-stage venture companies addressing climate change. ACRE incubator companies receive 24/7 access to desk space and conference rooms at an office in Downtown Brooklyn, in addition to professional business advisory and support services (legal, accounting, design) and introductions to ACRE’s network of market partners, investors, mentors, and startup resources. The UFL and all its programs are supported by NYSERDA, National Grid, Wells Fargo, Empire State Development Corporation, Daikin, and Orrick. More at ufl.nyc.

About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly). A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within NYU, the country’s largest private research university, and is closely connected to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates Future Labs focused on start-up businesses in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program. For more information, visit engineering.nyu.edu.

Learn more about: Pat Sapinsley