Venturespring Announces Smart City Challenge Winner

Feb 12, 2016

Screen shot 2016 02 12 at 08.55.49

Blubel a smart bicycle bell that simply and intuitively guides cyclists, and uses IBM BluemixⓇ, has today been announced as the winner of the Venturespring Smart City Challenge - a competition that invited global entrepreneurs and developers to create technology solutions to some of the most serious problems facing modern cities. Blubel will receive access to £750,000 in investment and business acceleration support from Venturespring, the international venture development studio.

Blubel is a device that makes urban cycling stress-free; with an intuitive navigation interface, cyclists do not need to worry about getting lost or having to stop en route. Powered by its smartphone app, Blubel prioritises safer cycle-friendly routes based on feedback from the community.

The Smart City Challenge was backed by partners IBM, the Mayors Office, Tech.London and Urban Design London, and all entries were developed using IBM’s Bluemix hybrid cloud development platform. A panel of experts from the worlds of technology, venture development, business, and urban planning judged the contest. Other shortlisted entrants included:

Device Point - monitoring solution for healthy water.

Gravity 8 - navigation wearable that uses vibrations to give directions.

Citizen Lab - civic engagement platform to facilitate two-way communication between a city and its citizens.

Delivery Busters - local smart shopping assistant with delivery in under 60 minutes.

Live Park - utilises CCTV to help find parking spots in a preferred area.

Routely - app that uses transport data, GPS and push notifications to notify users of real time delays and alternative routes to their destination.

My Markget - online marketplace for urban food producers.

Blubel, Sasha Afanasieva:"We're delighted to have won the challenge! This is a great opportunity for us to develop, scale and launch Blubel with support from industry leaders such as IBM and Venturespring. For Blubel, this is more than technology; it's about empowering the cycling community, encouraging urban cycling and creating a powerful knowledge tool to improve our cities."

Venturespring, Cassandra Harris, Founder and Managing Director: "Venturespring’s business model is designed to invent, incubate, scale and invest in game changing businesses in partnership with the world's leading brands and companies. Our network of visionary entrepreneurs, successful operators and investors provides us with the expertise and capacity to engage and deliver on a global scale. We look forward to building Blubel into a commercially successful business."

IBM Cloud Ecosystem, Alison Say: "We’ve been really inspired by the level of innovation that we’ve seen with the Smart City Challenge on IBM’s Bluemix platform and we’re really excited about what’s next as we look to support Blubel in its development. Tech innovation impacts our day to day life and what’s developed here in London has relevance locally but also at a broader, global level."

Joe Mitton, Special Adviser to the Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise "The applications that were shortlisted for the Smart City Challenge are really exciting as they are applicable not just here in London - the fastest growth city in Europe but also globally. The Mayor's office has driven a number of key initiatives to improve life in London and startups like Blubel play a key role to improving our cities and achieving these initiatives."

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