The Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, Innosphere Ventures and the University of Colorado Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing (CU Denver CEDC) have named the 12 companies participating in the inaugural 2023 Smart Futures Lab incubator and accelerator programs.
Program participants will have access to a physical coworking and prototyping space in downtown Denver. The center will feature a private 5G network for research and development of internet of things (IoT) technologies, scheduled to be operational in early May of 2023. They will have the opportunity to engage with a custom education curriculum, and extensive partnership networks, among other benefits.
The 12 companies selected are led by people from the New Majority – which includes Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women and people with disabilities. The program seeks to empower the New Majority with the opportunity to imagine more inclusive solutions and build businesses to realize their visions. The chosen companies are notable for their focus on building technology solutions for issues confronting quality of life in communities across Colorado, such as transportation safety, mobility for people with disabilities, climate change, water, and urban planning.
“The initial Smart Futures Lab cohorts represent a variety of companies at various stages of growth [which] are interested in the civic innovation space,” said Dan Griner, director of design, innovation and strategy for CU Denver CEDC and director of Smart Futures Lab. “The interest in the program demonstrates the need for opportunities like this and we’re proud of the diversity represented in the founders and leadership teams of the companies that have been selected.”
The seven companies accepted into the 2023 Smart Futures Lab incubator include:
- Blind Institute of Technology (BIT) – will further develop EdgGuide, its indoor micro navigation system for people with visual impairments;
- Electrafide – is developing a drone to clean solar panels in difficult-to-reach places or in large arrays;
- GlobeWater & Solar Technologies – is focused on off-grid solar power to provide water for agriculture, plus drinking water capabilities;
- Herculean Feats – builds tools that let community members easily interact with infrastructure to get the most out of their experience in the public realm;
- Snowbotix – develops utility robots for non-road snow removal and off-road vegetation management;
- Swap – is building a smart and sustainable energy infrastructure and electromobility ecosystem; and
- Tappy Technology’s Guide – is a smart mobility and transportation solution for people with disabilities and seniors.
The five companies accepted into the 2023 Smart Futures Lab accelerator include:
- AD Knight – develops novel technologies to improve traffic safety and traffic monitoring focusing on vulnerable road users based on IoT sensing;
- Caliola Engineering – provides innovative technical solutions and services for secure and resilient communications;
- GridMatrix – is a transportation data analytics company that provides cities with a continuous stream of real time, accurate data on vehicular and pedestrian road users, traffic congestion, signalized intersection performance, emissions, and safety;
- inCitu – is mapping the future of the built environment in augmented reality (AR), to foster collaboration between residents, designers, and city governments in the process of urban change; and
- Lazarillo Holding – a mapping platform and mobile app that enhances the experience in cities for citizens with and without disabilities, with the goal of making the world more accessible.
“Building a company is hard enough; but when your success is dependent on involvement from governments, then the challenge is even bigger,” added Tyler Svitak, executive director of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance. “We’re ecstatic to invite these incredible companies into the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, partner them with innovative local governments across the state, and help them bring solutions to issues Coloradans are frustrated with every day.”