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Our 3 favorite startups from Urban-X’s 4th demo day

Urban-X, the urban-tech startup accelerator backed by MINI and early-stage urban-tech fund Urban.Us, hosted at its Brooklyn HQ a demo day today for its fourth cohort of companies. The seven presenting companies offered solutions to issues plaguing modern cities, including toll-road pricing, energy and construction management and even the inefficiencies of modern cycling helmets. In a day that offered an impressive display of entrepreneurial talent, here are three of the companies that really stood out to us. Rentlogic In hopes of improving landlord transparency, Rentlogic uses years of city government data to create objective algorithmic letter ratings for apartment buildings. As CEO Yale Fox pointed out, despite city-dwellers spending half our paychecks on rent, urban housing hasn’t seen the same rating systems that we use to guide decisions on where we eat, what car we buy or what shows we binge. Rentlogic allows apartment hunters to screen buildings before signing a lease and avoid committing to unhealthy conditions or an absentee landlord. Rentlogic partners with landlords looking to obtain a stamp of quality for potential renters, offering an added inspection feature that allows them to hang a letter rating outside their building. The company’s roster of customers already includes Blackstone and Phipps Houses, the largest for-profit and nonprofit landlords in the world, respectively.    What stands out with Rentlogic is its ability to scale. Though currently only in New York City, the same data used in New York presumably exists across all major U.S. markets, and Rentlogic has minimized the cost of entering new cities by building out the back-end infrastructure required to ingest and analyze the data. From a demand perspective, as renters defer to Rentlogic for quality assurance and more competitors hang “A” ratings outside their buildings, landlords will face more pressure to maintain the same offering.  The idea hit home for a born-and-bred New Yorker with my own set of landlord horror stories, and the first thing I did when I left was look up my building on Rentlogic. Campsyte Most companies wish they had mega-campuses or “motherships” where they could offer employees access to sprawling outdoor working areas. For companies based in urban areas, offering…

Meet the startup on a mission to eliminate traffic jams

Commuters waste valuable hours sitting in traffic. But a Cambridge university graduate reckons he has the answer to end the gridlock With driverless cars and electric hire bikes, our roads are going to look very different in the future. And if Richard Cartwright has his way, there will be far fewer traffic jams too. The entrepreneur is working on a low-cost way of using data to free up roads. Every week, commuters waste valuable hours sitting in their cars, burning costly fuel and generating emissions and noise. It is estimated that drivers in London spend a dispiriting three days a year in rush-hour traffic, while commuters in Birmingham and Manchester lose a day. And it’s not just the inconvenience of it – the cost of congestion to drivers is estimated to be £30bn per year. Continue reading…

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