MINI and HAX, a division of venture capital firm SOSV, have launched a startup accelerator program to support, educate, and invest in compelling new businesses. Urban-X by MINI and HAX will combine the core competencies of MINI, including design, engineering, and usability, with HAX’s best-in-class acceleration processes, investing experience, and ability to help companies bring innovative technologies to market rapidly.
The program will assist early-stage ventures with designing and launching products and services that improve life in cities, and addresses the challenges of increasingly dense urban areas, such as:
Solutions for better urban living;
Technologies that improve public space and urban safety;
Solutions that improve civic infrastructure, commerce, and access to resources such as utilities and food;
Technologies that empower the sharing economy and facilitate better communication between neighbors, government, and business; and
Solutions to reduce congestion and improve people’s experience getting from A to B.
Applications are now open for the first Urban-X program, to be held in New York City in March 2016. Selection criteria for the ten finalists includes the strength of the startup’s vision, the quality and commitment of the team, the viability of the business model, and existing traction with customers. Urban-X will host additional cohorts twice a year, with each session lasting three and a half months.
The program includes a seed capital investment of $60,000 per start-up, in addition to comprehensive in-kind support. Additional Legal, Human Resources, Marketing/Communications and Accounting support will be available through an established network of program partners. Urban-X will run from an office and meeting space in New York with access to workshops and professional facilities. The selected companies will benefit from highly relevant mentorship opportunities, exclusive events, and will finish the program in front of an invite only crowd and the investor community at Demo Day.