Cities of tomorrow. Built today.

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Winners announced!

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Urban Tech Challengers 2023 highlights


Urban Tech Challengers is a premier platform for discovering and supporting innovative technology startups that make a difference in the world. Each year, we host an epic pitch competition for entrepreneurs who develop disruptive products and services for sustainable, resilient and future-proof cities.

In our 2023 edition, we are looking for companies that come up with impactful, equitable, and scalable solutions to the most pressing challenges our cities face. So if you want to join the ranks of the most resourceful problem-solvers out there, consider applying to Urban Tech Challengers. With four verticals to choose from – Elevating Life & Work Experience, Optimising Urban Operations, Building for the Future, and Enabling Better Infrastructure – there’s something for every startup.

Plus, you’ll get the chance to connect with multiple venture capitalists, corporations, and media to help you succeed. So why wait? Apply now and get recognised as a top player in the field!

Elevating Life & Work Experience

Elevating Life & Work Experience

The experience of living in our cities is about to get a major upgrade. Thanks to technology, cities are becoming smarter, more efficient, and more livable than ever before.

Tag along on our mission to find the most revolutionary new startups pushing the experience of living in cities to another level. For this track, we are looking for problem-solvers who address a wide range problems across such areas as:

• Air quality
• Workplace technology
• Green buildings
• Public health, safety and security

Optimising Urban Operations

Optimising Urban Operations

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to make a city run like a well-oiled machine. From heating and cooling to facility management, there’s always room for improvement.

If your company has the expertise in creating cutting-edge products for monitoring, controlling and optimising urban environments, we encourage you to submit an application. Whether it’s finding new ways to ease traffic congestion or making our buildings more energy-efficient, there’s no shortage of challenges to tackle. In this track, we are looking for applicants pioneering solutions across such areas as:

• Building automation, heating and cooling
• Urban mobility and logistics
• Facility management
• ESG management

Building for the Future

Building for the Future

The current methods we deploy to build cities are no longer enough. To lay the foundation for more resilient cities, we will need new technology champions.

Applicants in this track should be innovating to elevate the building process that includes planning and construction. We expect companies to showcase technological advancement to solve the biggest challenges the construction industry is facing today. These are some of the key problems we are expecting the applicants to address:

• Replacing cement and concrete with sustainable construction materials
• Improving efficiency with new construction methods
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions using carbon capture & storage
• Balancing out efficiency and sustainability with new construction software

Enabling Better Infrastructure

Enabling Better Infrastructure

With progressive smart city technologies and data analytics magic, cities today can optimise their infrastructure systems to better serve their residents and businesses. This means less waste, happier residents, and more livable communities.

If you’ve got pioneering ideas that can revolutionise how cities are supported, powered, and connected, this track is for you. We’re looking for innovative thinkers who can transform our entire urban infrastructure systems in a brand-new, sustainable way.

Applicants should submit their out-of-the-box solutions across multiple sectors, including:

• Urban water supply and infrastructure
• Smart public infrastructure
• Waste management
• Green energy & grid technologies


60 companies (15 from each track) are handpicked by an all-star panel of industry experts from global corporations, VC  firms, ecosystem builders, and media partners.

All finalists are invited to pitch live at the Urban Tech Forward event on October 25-26, 2023, in the bustling city of Warsaw, Poland.

Whether you win the title of Ultimate Urban Tech Challenger of 2023 or not, you’re sure to have a blast showcasing your innovation and making connections with the masterminds of the urban tech world.



Application deadline

September 8

Finalists announced

September 18

Live pitches

October 25 - 26 @ Urban Tech Forward conference

Top 4 pitches & Winner announced

October 25 - 26 @ Urban Tech Forward conference

Winners announced!

Application to the UTC is entirely free and each of the 60 finalist Companies (15 per each track) are granted 1 free VIP ticket to Urban Tech Forward 2023. May the odds be in your favor!


Ultimate Winner

Natrion develops components for automotive and battery manufacturers that can be rapidly utilized to deploy safe, high-performance all-solid-state rechargeable batteries.


Square Mile Farms uses vertical farming to help people and businesses be healthier and more sustainable. They do this by integrating vertical farms into office spaces and creating unique engagement experiences through events and farm participation.

Hayden AI is a global leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. From bus lane and bus stop enforcement to digital twin modeling, their mobile perception system helps to speed up transit, make streets safer, and create a more sustainable future.

Vizcab is a SaaS platform that enables construction and real estate players to catalyse their carbon transition thanks to data science, based on a technology developed by the building 2050 group.

Natrion is developing battery technologies that can push the capabilities of EVs by solving the biggest issues that automakers and battery manufacturers face. Their mission is to service the industry with solutions that will enhance the mainstream market viability of electric vehicles and advance the world closer towards a future of clean mobility.


Iris ten Have

Head of Science @ Extantia

Valentina Shegoyan

Managing Partner @ REACH UK – Second Century Ventures

Conan Lauterpacht

Founding Partner @ Sustainable Future Ventures

Niklas Grunewald

Managing Partner @ Redstone Built World

Edelio Bermejo

Head of Global R&D @ Holcim Innovation Center

Juan Nieto

GP & Founding Partner @ Zacua Ventures

Ramy Fam

VP @ CRH Ventures

Colleen Schutte

External Venturing @ NOVA by Saint-Gobain

Tanja Kufner

Head of Start Up & Venture Investments @ Nemetschek Group

Diego Santamaria Razo

Partner and Vice President @ Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Claudia Chiti

General Manager @ Manni Green Tech

Olayan Alharbi

Business Development and Innovation Advisor to the Vice Minister @ Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing Ministry, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Sebastian Schäfer

Senior Innovation Manager Startup Partnerships @ E.ON

Fabio Sferruzzi

Co-Founder & CEO @ Feat Ventures

Ivo Remmelg

Venture Partner @ Superhero Capital

Anna Duchnowska

Managing Director – Investment Management @ Invesco

Ami Kotecha

Co-Founder & Group President @ Amro Partners

Andreas Winter-Extra

Partner @ Kompas VC

Michael Levin

Managing Partner @ Betastage Capital

Ines Bergmann-Nolting

Managing Partner @ Greencode Ventures

Esat Acar

Vice President @ 500 Emerging Europe

David Zwilling

Founding Partner @ Styx Urban Investments

Anna Kulik

Founder, Creator, CEO @ Hepp UK

Nicholas Hanser

Partner, Head of Technology (TMT) Investment Banking @ Saxenhammer

Sami Moughrabie

Managing Partner @ Atmos Ventures

Michal Bas

Principal @ VentureFriends

Alessandro Zaccaria

Investment Director @ 360 Capital

Aurore Lanchart

Investment Director @ OSS Ventures

Jonathan Cohen

Senior Partner and Director, Building Consultancy @ Colliers

Ricardo Valente

Councilor @ Porto City Council

Christos Chantzaras

Managing Director @ TUM Venture Lab Built Environment

Eldho Choorackal

Technical Program Manager, Innovation Centre for Sustainable Construction @ CRH

Michel Martin

Private Equity Principal @ Genii Capital

Anna Magiera

ICLUB Executive Partner, Europe @ ICLUB Global

Sebastian Rath

Associate Director, Climate & Sustainability in Insurance @ Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Piotr Grabowski

Co-Founder @

Ines Kolmsee

Partner @ Matterwave Ventures

Johanna Marcelly

Innovation Project Manager @ City of Paris

Marc Penkala

Managing Director & Founder @ Minimal VC

Marcin Zabielski

Managing Partner Market @ One Capital

Gerd Sumah

Partner @ Round2 Capital

Timo Hermans

Vice President @ Vertevis Capital Partners

Joe Appleton

Editorial Director and Media Relations @ Bee Smart City

Javier Solobera Abad

Director of Innovation @ Libelium

Pitchaya Jirojmontree

Venture Partner @ Addventures by SCG

Agnieszka Hat

Marketing & Innovation Manager @ Saint-Gobain

Christina Papachristou

Program Manager Digital Innovation @ CRH

Olga Dzieciatkowska

Coordinator of Poznan CityLab @ Smart City Poznan

Jeroen Coupé

Chief Technology Officer @ Re-Vive

José Soares

Founding Partner @ Sigma Ventures

Martin Olczyk

Managing Director @ Techstars

Benjamin Kafri

Global Head of Innovation, Client Relations and Partnerships @ Bloomberg NEF

Silvia Rovere

Founder & CEO @ Sensible Capital

Joachim Holck Christoffersen

Investment Manager, Head of Renewables & Climate Solutions @ Copenhagen Capacity

Olga Peters

Incubation and Startup Engagement Manager @ ABB

Michel Hunsicker

Investment Director @ EDF Pulse Ventures

Arjun Jairaj

Investor @ A/O

Simone Valorani

Head of Strategy & Operations @ Scientifica Venture Capital

Ruben Schultz

Early Stage Investing @ Atlantic Labs

Maciej Dabrowski

Investment Manager @ ff Venture Capital

Fabian König

Investment Manager @ PropTech1 Ventures

Hugo Silva

Principal @ Pi Labs

Claudia McHugh

Senior Director Business Development @ Virtus Data Centres

Mateusz Lukasik

Investment Director @ OTB Ventures

Charbel Aoun

Smart Cities and Spaces Director – EMEA @ Nvidia

Adrian Karczewicz

Head of Divestments CEE @ Skanska

Mimi Eelman

Strategy – Energy Transition @ City of Amsterdam

Chris Hamilton

VP Technology & Innovative Solutions, Global @ Jacobs

Marcus Willand

Partner I Mobility Software @ MHP – A Porsche Company

Matthias Schanze

General Partner @ Rethink Ventures

Adam Fischer

Managing Partner @ Osorno Capital

Yonca Braeckman

Co-Founder and CEO @ Impact Shakers

Lukasz Platkowski

Principal & Managing Director @ Gensler

Marek Sacha

CEO @ Building Minds

Mihai Murgu

Partner @ PCF – Investment Banking

Arvin Khanchandani

Investment Manager @ Warsaw Equity Group

Antonio Jara

CEO (M&A Libelium) @ Hopu

Pawel Michalski

CEO @ VCLeaders

Franc Mouwen

EIC Program Manager @ European Innovation Council (EIC)

Damian Wild

Managing Director @ ING Media

Dr. Mariusz Sagan

Head of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Department @ City of Lublin

Tobias Förtsch

Managing Director @ TUM Venture Lab Built Environment

Tim Govaert

Venture Partner @ Aconterra

Liliana Cruz

Decarbonization Investment Analyst @ CEMEX Ventures

Magdalena Pawlowska

Partner @ Level2 Ventures

Gerd Leutner

Technology Solutions Director @ Colliers

Angel Kelchev

Partner @ AYANA Capital

Joanna Namysl

Angel Investor

Marta Kupisz

Urban Innovation Manager @ Polish Development Fund

Kadir Bozca

5G and Internet of Things Solutions Manager @ Vodafone

Ahmed Shalaby

Co-Founder, President and CEO @ Tatweer Misr

Renata Hartle

Technology Solutions Director @ Colliers

Henry Gallego

CEO @ Ktesios SOCIMI

Fraz Anjum

Head of IT Infrastructure & Service Delivery @ Serco Canada

Graziella Roccella

Chief Research and Product Design Officer @ Planet Smart City

Rainer Wieser

Partner @ Proventis Partners

Eva Holzová

Smart City Projects and Events Manager @ Brno City Municipality

Mateusz Kaluza

Investments Analyst @ EIT Urban Mobility

Agata Bendik

Program Manager @ Plug and Play Tech Center

Saurabh Kumar

Senior Investment Associate @ Katapult VC

Sabine Schoorl

Senior Partner @ LUMO Labs

Kevin Frederik

Ventures Lead Europe @ Arup

Carolyn Berland

Global Brand Innovation Manager @ Essity

Balázs Jelinek

Deputy CEO – Operations @ Liget Budapest

Martijn Balder

Investment Team Lead @ 2bX

Rafal Malanij

Head of Data Intelligence and Digital Enablement CEE @ CBRE Poland

Yves Pircher

Investment Manager @ Smartworks Innovation

Bálint Szatmári

Senior Investment Manager @ Solus Capital

Johannis Hatt

Managing Director @ JVH Ventures

Jeremy Schinazi

Principal @ Hola Venture Partners

Louis Millon

Senior Associate @ Systemiq Capital

Karolina Sulma

Head of Legal Department @ Skanska

Balázs Besenyei

Senior Investment Manager @ Hiventures

Tymoteusz Staniszewski

Investment Associate @ Verdane

Stephen Tierney

Business Development Manager @ London and partners

Petteri Vartiainen

Head of Debt Advisory & Structured Finance @ ICECAPITAL Securities

Maximilian Werny

Scientist in Residence @ Extantia

Florian Engel

Senior Associate M&A @ Oaklins Angermann

Benjamin Meyer

Investment Manager @ Realyze Ventures

Nikolaj Klebert

Investment Manager @ BonVenture

Maria Tyka-Majewska

Senior Program Manager @ Huge Thing

Anna Trendewicz

Investment Associate @ Future Energy Ventures

Cal Stock

Principal @ Sustainable Future Ventures

Jonny Mauland

Tech Sustainability Lead @ Accenture Nordics

Jakub Przybylski

Strategy & Business Development Manager @ ABB Technology Ventures

Guy Vincent

Program Lead @ Amsterdam Circular

Laura Klair

Business Development Lead – Nordics & CEE @ WiredScore

Anna Wysocka

New Business Development Director @ NHOOD Polska

Danae Vara

CPO&Co-Founder @ Gocleer

Matthias Mazelier

Consultant @ Bopro

Malgorzata Tomczuk

Strategy & Business Development Manager @ ABB Technology Ventures

Sead Bajrovic

Head of Operations @ Aliaxis






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