Who Is The Challenge Cup’s Hottest Smart Cities Startup?

May 7, 2014

2:00 pm

This Friday is the kickoff of the Challenge Festival in DC, the culmination of a huge global startup competition organized by startup hub 1776.

Startups from 16 cities around the world will be competing in the categories of education, energy, health, and smart cities. Two winners from each category – one from the US and one from abroad – will take home $100,000 each and compete for the crown in the Global Finals on May 17.

Tech Cocktail is one of the Challenge Cup’s partners, and we want to know: which smart cities startup do you think should move on to the finals? Voting will be open until the smart cities semifinals on May 15, and we’ll announce the winners on May 16. 

In the meantime, vote below, get your ticket to the smart cities semifinals, or buy a badge for the whole festival! 

Who is The Challenge Cup’s hottest smart cities startup?

(The poll is now closed – thanks for voting!) 

RideScout (Washingon, DC) – RideScout is a smartphone application that aggregates all ground transportation options around a user in real time. The RideScout mobile platform finds information on nearby buses, trains, taxis, and carsharing programs, while also integrating seamlessly with other transportation apps, displaying results on one simple interface.

Transit Labs (Washington, DC) – Transit Labs is a data analytics software company dedicated to building smarter cities by harnessing data to foster better informed decision-making. Transit Labs’s flagship application, the Transportation Application Platform, makes state, regional and local government more competitive for transportation funding and more effective with their existing resources across finance and operations. By tracking over 100 key performance measures in real-time and providing easily understood visualizations of this data, TAP informs, streamlines and speeds up the transit decision-making process to foster better, cheaper and safer transportation services.

CityScan (Chicago, IL) – CityScan helps, inspects, observes and predicts street-level activity and changes that impact on cities. CityScan helps government and large enterprises with large outdoor infrastructure assets. CityScan’s solution helps government and companies discover revenue, save on labor costs and increase life-safety conditions.

Angry Citizen (Moscow, Russia – Angry Citzen is an online issue submission and tracking system for people complaining about product and services, which then routes those complaints to corresponding vendors. The solution matches issues with authorities and companies responsible for solving those issues.

Hoard (Berlin, Germany) – (formerly einFach) Hoard is an app for the simple exchange of things and services via smart lockers at convenient locations in your city. Hoard solves the problem of handling all of the user’s daily stuff wherever he or she is, independent of opening hours and appointments.

SocioTransit (London, UK) – SocioTransit is a marketplace that connects travelers with seekers. It is a way for a traveler to earn extra money during their travels and can be local, domestic or international travel. SocioTransit is an answer to daily life transport situations and getting things transported quickly at lower charges.

Bishop Peak Technology (Los Angeles, CA) – The Bishop Peak Technology platform enables private organizations and municipal transit agencies to rapidly deploy real-time vehicle tracking information, route schedules, and dispatch services to their users via mobile apps. The platform can deliver a completely branded solution in a matter of hours, automatically integrating with the user’s existing vehicle tracking hardware.

Soceana (New York, NY) – Soceana is a social media site for non-profits and corporations promoting volunteering and philanthropic giving. The social good generated not only benefits the local communities but also the corporations, via purposeful branding, engaged employees and effective giving.

Silverside Detectors (Boston, MA) – Silverside Detectrors offers a neutron detector that has identical performance to traditional Helium-­3 portal monitors and proposed replacements, but is $5,000 in manufacturing costs compared to $50,000 or more for current technologies. The price point enables a paradigm shift in the amount of world­wide detection coverage by revolutionizing how the detectors are serviced and deployed.

Reaction (Austin, TX) – Reaction is a rapid-response housing system for victims of all disasters. The initial product, the Exo Housing System, can be set up in two minutes or less without any machinery or tools needed. It is priced out to be cost competitive against any kind of existing shelter options in the marketplace today.

WeatherCloud (Denver, CO) – WeatherCloud aims to significantly decrease highway-related mortality and increase the overall efficiency and safety of the transportation infrastructure. The concept is based on the vehicle translator initiative at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which is designed to treat cars and trucks on the road as mobile weather sensors. It will then take the data, interpret it, and gain insight into the conditions of the road.

Mellowcabs (Cape Town, South Africa) – Mellowcabs manufactures, and operates attractive, electric mini-cabs that provide public transport in cities. Our main source of income is not carrying passengers, but selling advertising space on, and in the vehicles. Advertising on the vehicles is very powerful and creates zero ad avoidance. Passengers prefer rides in Mellowcabs because they are flexible and very affordable. The cabs are manufactured in South Africa, and hold full international road-worthy status.

Pink Park (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Pink Park is the world’s first online parking marketplace to incorporate single spot sensors technology. The marketplace connects home and business owners who would like to earn money from renting their space with drivers in need of a convenient and cost-effective place to park.

ScanTrust (Beijing, China) – ScanTrust provides next-generation secure graphics that offer strong protection to counterfeiting. With secure graphics that can be managed through a digital workflow, printed with standard equipment and ink and verified with current smartphones, ScanTrust proposes the world’s first purely SaaS-based solution to the problem of counterfeiting. This allows any company to protect their brand, connect with consumers and collect market intelligence at an extremely competitive cost.

Spaceship App (New Delhi, India) – Spaceship is a ride-sharing and carpool smartphone app.

HandUp (San Francisco, CA) – HandUp is a direct donation system for the homeless and others in need in a given neighborhood. With HandUp, users can donate to a specific person via their web profile or SMS, learn about their story and needs and hear updates on their progress.


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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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