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The Urban startups changing the cities

Urban Tech Helsinki is the new incubation program for clean and sustainable urban solutions, for startups that are solving the challenges of modern cities. The 1st batch of startups started their journey in mid-September.

Urban Tech Helsinki brings together the best research from Finnish universities in Helsinki’s vibrant startup ecosystem. The participants get to test their solutions in Testbed Helsinki in close collaboration with the City of Helsinki, as well as platforms and networks provided by other cities. The aim is to help urban tech startups with a sustainability mission.

The first-ever call of Urban Tech Helsinki was open during summer 2021 and attracted 46 applicants from 11 countries. The first batch with 13 startups began their journey in Autumn 2021. “We were happy to see that over half of the teams have international backgrounds and almost half have female founders. Diversity is the key to success and to solve the sustainability challenges of cities, everyone must be on board” says Kaisa Ahonen, Project Manager of Urban Tech Helsinki.

This new program is significant to the City of Helsinki, explained Santtu Von Bruun, Head of Innovation and Ecosystems unit at the City of Helsinki Executive Office, as he welcomed the batch and reflected on the past years building the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Today it is more than crucial to have startups with a sustainability edge, the world is changing fast. We need to have the right players be able to support and offer pilots to these startups.

Being a startup in the Urban Tech Helsinki program is a great chance for startups to work directly with the cities and the universities. During the program these startups get the benefits of two biggest startups hubs within Helsinki metropolitan Area: Maria 01 and Aalto Startup Center, while getting coaching and expertise from the experts and connected with relevant players of the ecosystem.

Marika Paakkala, head of Aalto Startup Center, warmly welcomed the teams to the ecosystem of Aalto University entrepreneurship. Aalto Startup Center has a long history of helping entrepreneurs. Now the Urban Tech Helsinki startups will get the expertise and the collaboration coming from the university and its partners.

Introducing the teams, In alphabetical order

4theDrivers makes manual controllers for autonomous vehicles and mobile robots. We support robot fleet operators by providing the best manual control interfaces and operator-centric software services. Our background is in running autonomous driving in street operations, where we identified the need for robust, intuitive and safe manual controllers. is the next generation property management platform. It is revolutionizing how residential buildings and portfolios are managed, and how building digital services are consumed by building users.  We are the first movers in this segment combining end user services with property management system and landlord tools. We are already on business with multiple parallel revenue streams and subscription models.  Our business model is scalable and provides high margins. High performance team enables global scaling.

Blokgarden is about enabling people to grow anything anywhere. We aim to increase urban farming and make it into a true answer to the food crises we are facing. Our easy and effortless garden box as a service is an ideal solution to start the smart farming revolution.

Citiscope makes it easy for city builders to understand what makes a neighborhood vibrant. The company is based on the premise that accessing nearly real-time geo-social and economic data can help public and private sector managers create better cities. We build social maps that combine data on population, employment, business, mobility, consumption, sentiment, and tourism at the neighborhood level.

Dashfactory makes cycling safer and digitizes cycling traffic & cycling infrastructure planning. DASHBIKE is the first and long awaited dashcam for cyclists with distance measurement, GPS, Gyroscop, daytime running Lights and many other sensors.DASHTRACK is an innovative, unique and fast scaleable data platform to digitise cycling across Europe with Dashbike to make cycling safer. We record all relevant (cycling) traffic data of cyclists on a daily basis, including processing and analysis. 

Ekotekt aims to address the construction industry’s three toughest challenges: labor shortage, cost & time overruns and the CO2 emissions. Ekotekt’s solution is to provide affordable and environment friendly 3D printed construction and housing solutions.
With our building method we reduce up-to 60 % of labour requirement. We create homes that are fully customised, tailored made, which are far more environment friendly and 30% less expensive than the average homes.

Evergreenwalls manufactures and sells user- and eco-friendly plant cultivation equipment and provides related services. The products promote abundant yields and serve as part of the everyday surroundings of people and businesses. In addition to growing useful plants, the systems increase the attractiveness of various spaces.

Greenele is specialized in electric vehicle charging solutions. Our mission is to accelerate the growth of electric transportation by making charging easier and more affordable than ever before.We have developed our own charging station and service. A low powered (3,7 kW) Type 2 charging station with features like authentication, metering, billing, load balancing and much more guaranteed to disrupt the current markets of energy, infrastructure and charging. We are aiming to launch our products into the market in early 2022

Mooova was born to transport second hand furniture, connect people with surplus logistics capacities in 2 minutes, it’s like a taxi-app but for bigger items. Currently operating mainly in Stockholm, but also in Helsinki and Munich. GMV at 20K EUR per month, with 30% retention rate. Looking for funding to expand quicker in European cities.

Resistomap is a data-driven laboratory service provider for antibiotic resistance monitoring from any samples. Using a combination of state-of-the-art high-throughput qPCR technology and data science, we monitor antibiotic resistance genes from samples collected from various engineered and natural environments such as agriculture, hospitals, water environments, wildlife, and wastewater treatment plants. Our service can help cities or municipalities protect public health and environmental health by providing an early detection system for impending outbreaks of resistant bacteria in their area. 

Vaccuum Insulation System VIS – Revolutionary Carbon Negative Smart solutions for Next Generation Constructions and vertical farms. Our innovation enables woodbased  structures in extreme conditions. VIS provides the only really sustainable and most energy efficient solutions for next generation vertical farms – smart plant factories. Modules are not only modular and scalable but also active and intelligent. VIS Technology has patent pending in EU, USA, CAN, CHI, JPN, BRZ and AUS

Yourspace is building a platform for accelerating adoption of clean heating technology in the built environment. Our platform offers objective information and analysis to multiple stakeholders and connects them to enable new clean energy investments. Company aims to solve a major challenge identified by one of the founders in his postdoctoral research career at Aalto University. 

Follow our social media to learn more about these startups and their journey!

Ari Seppänen

Business Advisor

Kaisa Ahonen

Project Manager