Infiniti supports startups with Smart City ideas
Issue Date: 2015-12-29

The Infiniti Accelerator, a 12-week Hong Kong programme to support startups working on innovative ideas around Smart Cities, concluded with a successful Demo Day. Each startup pitched its concept and business plan to over 100 investors with the aim to acquire additional resources to fuel its quest of establishing a viable and profitable business.

One of the startups supported by the Infiniti Accelerator is Green City Solutions. The company is developing a product called CityTree, which is an air-filtering panel that features a unique moss culture and acts like a tree, cleaning the air by filtering out harmful pollutants. Its filtering power is equivalent to that of 275 trees. In order to demonstrate the benefits of the system, Infiniti and Hopewell Holdings are sponsoring a CityTree. It will be positioned outside of the Infiniti Showroom at Hopewell Centre to showcase its potential for cleaning the air.

Infiniti's entrepreneurial initiatives are also taking place in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East. Infiniti took three selected startups from that region to Hong Kong for a three-day business development programme on the heels of the Hong Kong Accelerator. The coaching programme will culminate with one winner being awarded the US$40,000 seed funding prize.

Infiniti Accelerator Successfully Completed

The 12-week Infiniti Accelerator provided the startups with training and support on fundamental entrepreneurship knowledge and business skills, especially in marketing, fund-raising and company management. The startups focused on smart city and the Internet of Things (IoT) technology; covering a wide range of solutions and industries such as carbon-reduction, energy efficiency, building management and entertainment. Among the startups is an intelligent parking space app, a foldable electrical bike and a generator that produces electricity by using heat from the surrounding air.

The Demo Day was attended by executives from financial institutions, technology firms, large corporations and academia. It was an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to secure partnerships and funding that will help propel their businesses to the next phase.

The Infiniti Accelerator is part of Infiniti's entrepreneurship initiative, the Founder Series. In addition to the Infiniti Accelerator, the Founder Series comprises the Infiniti Lab, a co-working space tailored to startups during the 12-week programme, and the Infiniti Speaker Series, a thought-leadership programme targeting entrepreneurs with global and local speakers like Allan Zeman, father of Lan Kwai Fong, and Clive Jackson, CEO and Founder of the world’s first private jet charter service, Victor. The initiative is designed to support the business community in Hong Kong, where Infiniti's global headquarters are located.

The eight startups and their innovative products and solutions include:

PRECISION SERVICES LTD (USA, Hong Kong, China)

The future of urban mobility is one of the most heavily debated topics for cities around the globe. Millions of people, all commuting to work at a similar time, puts a huge strain on roads and a city's public transport network. In response, this startup has developed a product in close cooperation with Infiniti: A 100% electric E-Cycle that is foldable, rollable and smart. It makes it easier and more convenient for people to get from A to B on a daily basis.

PEER (USA)

Virtual Reality [VR] as a technology has finally become consumer accessible. To experience VR, all you need is your smartphone and a viewer headset (now readily available and affordable). In 2016, there will be millions of consumers with VR headsets looking for something to do. Peer is a consumer-targeted 3D camera that lets anyone create their own 3D content for VR. Our full hardware and software platform makes creating experiences easy, accessible, and affordable.

REVAMP TECHNOLOGIES (Israel)

The revolutionary generator being developed by RevAmp technologies leverages the heat stored within the air to produce electricity. The generator cools its surrounding air and leverages the kinetic energy of the air molecules in order to supply enough electricity to power an entire household. This technology offers unmatched reliability at an unprecedented low cost, which makes it the first viable solution to the global energy crisis.

GREEN CITY SOLUTIONS (Germany, Hong Kong)

This biotech and IoT startup is leading the way in the business of air pollution reduction. The company has developed a freestanding solution, called CityTree, which features a unique moss culture that naturally absorbs the pollution that occurs in urban environments. Each unit has the effect of up to 275 traditionally planted trees, yet they require less than 1% of the space and no excavation. The CityTrees have a reach of up to 50m and thanks to IoT technology, solar power and water reservoirs, they only need a few hours of maintenance each year. The company currently has successful projects up in Europe and during the accelerator it has begun discussions with governments, leading real-estate developers, and other multinational corporations in Asia.

TINGPARK (Hong Kong, Singapore)

Finding a convenient parking space at the right time in a busy city can be a challenge for all drivers. This startup has set out to change that. TingPark has developed a platform that shows the real-time availability of car parking spaces around the city. Through an app, drivers can locate the nearest space to their destination – consequently wasting less time. The system is also designed to increase utilisation and efficiency or car park companies.

18000RPM (Hong Kong)

18000rpm makes technology accessible to the amateur motorsport enthusiast at an affordable price, technology that was previously only available to the professional racing sphere. 18000rpm currently has three apps on the market: iLapTimer, iLapTimer2 and iAlign; helping drivers do data analysis and sharing. With gamification, the apps also allows drivers to compare their performances to their friends or other users. The company has a global outlook and is currently focused on China, US, Europe and Australia.

BLOCKDOX (UK)

BlockDox is a patent-pending software platform and mobile application that enhances building management, using real-time predictive intelligence and Internet of Things technology. The technology has won several awards including the Connected Cities Contest, which led to a partnership with Intel, Cognicity. The company was also selected to accompany the Mayor of London on an overseas smart cities tech trade mission and has been featured in media such as the Financial Times and the BBC.

POWWOW (Hong Kong, USA)

Energy wastage is a common problem in both the home and office. POWWOW transforms traditional electronic appliances into smart, energy-efficient devices. Their unique IoT devices provide valuable suggestions that help users to save energy in an easy, sustainable way – saving them time and money. They have also recently formed strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Maxim Integrated, and were a recent Engadget competition finalist.

The entrepreneurs will join Nest's strong and international alumni network after they completed this programme.