The cities of the future are being built today. Far-sighted start-ups are looking ahead to the problems of tomorrow and working to meet them head on, providing innovative, efficient and simple solutions that will make cities more robust and people happier and healthier.
As Abraham Lincoln is purported to have said, “the best way to predict the future is to create it”. While no-one can be sure exactly what the cities of the future will look like, it is certain that the ideas of today’s visionary start-ups will help lay their foundations. Eleven of these start-ups were found at the Jumpstarter 2017 Smart City semi-pitch event held in early September at Hong Kong Science Park; with their representatives sharing incisive visions of the future with the judges and an enthusiastic audience.
Three winners were chosen at this event –Ampd Energy, En-trak and Farm66 – and all had one important trait in common: the boundless imagination necessary to solve problems and create truly smart cities.
For Ampd (pronounced “amped”), the problem they seek to solve is a thorn in the side of three billion people and millions of businesses across the world: unreliable power supply. The current solutions to blackouts and brown-out, batteries and generators, are both expensive and wasteful. Ampd’s next-generation energy storage system, the “Ampd Silo” is a small and powerful energy storage device that is both reliable and sustainable, targeting “mission critical systems” like healthcare, IT, telecommunications and industry.
En-trak, the next winner, imagines a solution to the pervasive problem of building sustainability. Their smart energy “building intelligence platform” provides a cloud-based service for commercial buildings which gathers data on occupancy and energy use, displays building energy consumption and reveals areas of inefficiency; all with the aim of helping users “get the best from their building”.
Farm66, a Hong Kong-based “indoor agricultural factory” sees a healthy, sustainable food supply as a critical problem for humanity. Their solution is to use innovative aquaponic systems and sustainable technology to grow high quality, organic products. Farm66’s vision of the “farms of the future” – vertical farms using soilless aquaponic farming methods – will nourish the inhabitants of the smart cities of the future.
In addition to the three winners, who will compete against the finalists from the other semi-pitch events at November’s grand finale, two other honours were given out at the event.
The Most Favourite Startup Award, chosen by the audience, was given to Ambit – a company specializing in digital mapping, aerial photography and big data acquisition. The Most Innovative Startup Award went to Pear Limited for their imaginative next-generation “fog computing technology” – a “descending cloud” computing solution which will enable the world’s billions of smart devices to quickly and easily share computing, storage and bandwidth resources.
Each of the three winners chosen at November’s finale will receive up to USD one million investment from the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund.
Video of Jumpstarter 2017 Smart City Semi Pitch(7th)
Startup Pitch! (by the sequence of on-stage presentation)