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Twelve new startups join Cognicity’s smart cities accelerator

Twelve startups have been selected as the finalists for Canary Wharf Group’s Cognicity Challenge.

These firms will work alongside four other streams of finalists to develop an interoperable suite of smart city technologies, which will be piloted on the Canary Wharf estate.

Mikele Brack, head of smart city programmes for Cognicity, said:

“The concept of interoperability might be new to some, but it has been recognised by many experts as the key to creating a true smart city.

“The Cognicity Challenge aims to move beyond stand-alone solutions, with the technologies developed and piloted during the accelerator creating a fully integrated and interoperable suite of innovations.”

The new startups selected for the accelerator will join the first group in High Growth Space: 24 at One Canada Square.

During their 12-week residency the selected companies will have the opportunity to develop their smart city technologies with specialist mentoring and training from experienced Canary Wharf Group executives and industry experts from other major players, including Intel and Innovate UK. They will also have access to the existing Level39 startup community and mentors.

The Cognicity Challenge is the first phase in Canary Wharf Group plc’s smart city initiative, which will build on the Group’s bold reputation for innovation.

Sir George Iacobescu, chairman and chief executive officer, Canary Wharf Group, said:

“Canary Wharf Group has been at the forefront of property development since 1988 when construction began on the estate. Our vision for the Canary Wharf estate was recognised around the world as ground-breaking and innovative, and our execution of that vision has resulted in Canary Wharf’s status as the most future-forward part of London.

“The Cognicity Challenge will help us write the next chapter of that vision.”


The integrated resource management finalists are:

•        KiWi Power: a smart grid company that monitors and controls energy usage in order to reduce consumption during peak demand.

•        Open Energi: a smart grid startup whose Dynamic Demand technology enables the National Grid to balance electricity supply and demand on a second by second basis.

•        SEaB Energy: a waste management and renewable energy startup that develops Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants, which retail, agricultural and hospitality businesses can use to transform waste into a source of renewable energy.

•        Power Drive Efficiency: a company that has developed a technology that monitors and dynamically adjusts motor performance to match load requirements.

•        Strawberry Energy: a Serbian startup that installs Wi-Fi enabled charging stations that are solar-powered, bringing the Internet of Things to public spaces.

•        Stinex: a company that offers real-time analytics and reporting for activities in cities, including traffic flows, retail activities and crowd tracking.

The automated building management finalists are:

•        Boldmind: an Internet of Things startup that develops bespoke apps to control connected systems and devices, while also analysing the data they generate.

•        Converge: a building automation and monitoring company with an end-to-end solution for the collection, storage and analysis of sensor data.

•        Demand Logic: a company that uses big data analytics to discover energy savings and performance improvements in commercial buildings.

•        Exa-Informatics: a big data analytic startup that aggregates and analyses information from different devises while reducing the risk of unauthorized exploitation of that data.

•        Future Decisions: a company that uses data mining, predictive algorithms and custom-designed sensors to create intelligent, self-regulating buildings that can also talk to one another.

•        OrbiFire: a smart cities fire application suite that leverages city data in a 3D, real-time environment for informed decision-making when dealing with a building fire.

Six winners, one for each stream of the Cognicity Challenge, will each be awarded £50,000 in grants and also offered the opportunity to pilot their technologies within the Canary Wharf estate.

The pilots for the third and fourth streams will start at the end of May 2015