Two Cleantech Startups Win Urban Future Competition and Admission to Premier NYC Incubator, ACRE

Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon Announces Winners Fentrend and TagUp at REV Conference

Urban Future Lab Winners Fentrend and Tag Up

New York City’s hub for smart cities, smart grid, and clean energy at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering announced last night that two highly regarded cleantech startup companies won cash prizes and admission into its ACRE incubator.

The winners of the Urban Future Competition were announced by the Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon during Greentech Media’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) conference. Winners Fentrend and TagUp  each will be awarded $25,000; admission into the city’s premier cleantech incubator, ACRE at the Urban Future Lab; and exclusive mentor meetings with industry partners and sponsors. The winners also had the opportunity to pitch their businesses to potential funders at last night’s REV Future 2016 conference.

“We are delighted with the outcome of our Urban Future Lab Competition,” said Pat Sapinsley, managing director of cleantech initiatives at the UFL. “Fentrend and TagUp each address pressing problems with intelligent, web-enabled solutions. It is exactly this intersection of the Internet of Things and clean energy that will thrive at the ACRE incubator. The competition was fierce and several of the runners up are currently being evaluated for entry into the incubator. Many of these companies have excellent strategies to mitigate climate change. There is no better place for them than here at the ACRE incubator.”

Fentrend, currently based in Brooklyn, is building the first intelligent marketplace for the massive window and door industry, which totals $26.5 billion in the United States alone. Using data and proprietary digital tools, the company is replacing the current laborious, haphazard sourcing process with efficiency and transparency while opening a new, low-cost sales channel for suppliers.

“The Fentrend team could not be more excited to receive this honor and recognition,” said Andy Huh, co-founder and CEO of Fentrend. “We founded Fentrend because we saw that a lack of transparency and efficiency in the window and door market was leading even the best-intentioned architects and builders to use inefficient and expensive products because they simply could not find better alternatives. With building energy usage accounting for roughly 40 percent of total global energy consumption and inefficient windows being a leading source of energy waste, we set out to use data and technology to make it easier to find and price more energy-efficient windows. With great success in our beta market, we are thrilled to join Urban Future Lab and benefit from the guidance and advice of industry thought leaders to help us grow and scale.” 

TagUp, founded in Boston, offers manufacturers, value-added resellers, and end users the means to quickly and effectively integrate their equipment to the Internet, enabling them to monitor asset performance remotely. It reports that its patent-pending analytics platform can reduce unplanned downtime on equipment like power transformers by as much as 70 percent.

Both companies will be moving to ACRE in Downtown Brooklyn next month.

The Urban Future Competition was a Shark Tank-like pitching event that sought business solutions for global urban energy and sustainability challenges. Fentrend competed against two other finalists, CTY and Industrial/Organic, in the Smart Cities Category. TagUp competed in the Smart Grid Category against finalists OhmConnect, SEaB Energy, and Highview Power, during the Urban Future Lab’s first Jury Day competition.

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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 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), National Grid, Cushman & Wakefield, and Lowenstein Sandler. More at

About the NYU Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, when the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly) were founded. Their successor institutions merged in January 2014 to create a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention, innovation, 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 the country’s largest private research university and is closely connected to engineering programs in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates business incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program. For more information, visit