We may have smartphones in our pockets, but the cities around us are still pretty dumb, with sluggish mass transit and inefficient old buildings. Fixing that problem with “smart cities” technology was the focus of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s latest pitch contest. Five start-up companies, the finalists among more than 50 who applied, touted their ventures last night in front of a panel of expert judges at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) at the school’s newly renovated building at 370 Jay St.
After five energetic pitches, the winner as Bixby, a property-management platform that enables landlords to deliver services to their residents. The judges said they chose Bixby after “taking into consideration the maturity of the business, the local market of Brooklyn, the viability of the model, and the promise of the technology,” announced Tyler Woods, the emcee for the event and lead reporter for Technical.ly Brooklyn. The winning company took home a check for $5,000, thanks to sponsor JPMorgan Chase, as well as in-kind legal services from the Brooklyn Law Incubator and Policy Clinic.
Bixby’s rivals pitched technology to run self-driving vehicles, organize car pools for kids, turn food waste into energy, and provide real-time information to emergency workers. Snapshots of the five pitches: