A SUPPORT TEAM OF STARTUP MENTORS, ADVISORS & RESIDENT EXPERTS.

MINI and Urban Us have a network of over 2,000 professionals to support and mentor startups that are solving city problems. The network includes serial entrepreneurs, investors, public sector leaders. Urban-X startups also have access to expert advisors in public safety, public health, water and waste, utilities, construction, transportation, real estate and logistics to name a few.

MANAGEMENT TEAM.

Our core team acts as advisors for startups at every step of the program. We deliver the curriculum, ask the difficult questions, make connections and ensure startups get the optimal experience out of the program. Core team members are at URBAN-X every day and spend as much time with startups as they possibly can.

MICAH KOTCH

MANAGING DIRECTOR
FOR MINI

Micah came to URBAN-X from NYSERDA, where he served as the Director of NY Prize and Strategic Advisor for Innovation, and spent 5…

Micah came to URBAN-X from NYSERDA, where he served as the Director of NY Prize and Strategic Advisor for Innovation, and spent 5 years as Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering where he launched NYC’s first sponsored tech incubator. Micah has direct experience with utilities, government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions and early stage companies. He is interested in startups that embrace change as well as regulators and innovative large companies working on solutions for climate and energy issues.

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MARK PARIS

MANAGING PARTNER & CO-FOUNDER FOR URBAN US CAPITAL

Mark has more than 30 years’ experience at the intersection of cities and finance. Before Urban Us, Mark led Citi’s Green Communities…

Mark has more than 30 years’ experience at the intersection of cities and finance. Before Urban Us, Mark led Citi’s Green Communities Venture Fund and has been an investor and advisor for multiple urban tech startups. His work with startups goes back to 1998, while his work on Wall Street, managing financings for multiple cities, hospitals, universities, power agencies and housing authorities, goes back to 1988. Mark, and his wife, Tammy, both with degrees from Harvard, Hopkins and Muhlenberg, spend their free time serving on several higher education and arts boards throughout the US and abroad.

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MIRIAM ROURE

PROGRAM DIRECTOR
FOR MINI

Miriam is passionate about improving cities through technology and design. She is the founder of the design consultancy firm Urbanfield and is…

Miriam is passionate about improving cities through technology and design. She is the founder of the design consultancy firm Urbanfield and is part of the founding team of Deeds by The Social Coin. Miriam is also an alum of MIT Senseable City Lab, Harvard and Cornell. She used to be a math olympian, worked on a building in Venice, and enjoys the outdoors and yoga.

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NATHAN POEKERT

DIRECTOR, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Nathan is passionate about helping companies and startups tell their stories. He has more than a decade of experience working in a…

Nathan is passionate about helping companies and startups tell their stories. He has more than a decade of experience working in a wide variety of roles within marketing, advertising and communications ranging from a Creative Director on campaigns and televisions spots for Fortune 50 companies to establishing the go-to-market acquisition strategies for pre-fund, retail startups. He is on the advisory boards of and works with several organizations in NYC that promote both the LGBTQ and Asian/Pacific Islander communities in tech, business and design.

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JOHAN SCHWIND

DESIGN DIRECTOR

Johan is an expert in developing products at the intersection of engineering, digital technology and human needs. With experience working for Audi…

Johan is an expert in developing products at the intersection of engineering, digital technology and human needs. With experience working for Audi and BMW Group, Johan has designed products ranging from consumer electronics to electric bikes to urban infrastructure solutions. Johan shares insights and expertise on the design process, customer needs and product development with our teams – helping them to iterate, prototype and succeed in building their vision.

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LIZ SISSON

PROGRAM MANAGER FOR URBAN US

Liz is interested in how the public and private sector intersect. Before joining Urban Us and the team at URBAN-X, Liz was…

Liz is interested in how the public and private sector intersect. Before joining Urban Us and the team at URBAN-X, Liz was at the Roosevelt Institute, an economic think tank in NYC, where she managed programs that deployed local public policy campaigns spanning across policy areas including economic development, transportation, human rights, and environmental impact. Liz has also done consulting work on state government programs related to transportation and the environment. Liz is a graduate of Bentley University.

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EVA BECKER

DIRECTOR FOR
URBAN-X (EUROPE)

Working from Munich, Eva builds and maintains the connection between URBAN-X and MINI. Being a former founder herself, she knows the challenges startups are facing…

Working from Munich, Eva builds and maintains the connection between URBAN-X and MINI. Being a former founder herself, she knows the challenges startups are facing from her own experience. Eva is not only a foodie, but also a passionate problem-solver – and she works hard to find the right expert for every startup question within the BMW organization. As Director Europe, Eva also represents URBAN-X in the European startup scene.

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Experts-In-Residence.

Experts-in-Residence, or EIRs, become extensions of our cohort teams. They are high-value add specialists in areas like software development, visual design, mechanical and electrical engineering, product design, UI and UX. With resident expert support, our startups are positioned to build the best solution possible. EIRs are at URBAN-X multiple times during the week and during design intensives.

DEAN DIPIETRO

PRODUCT DESIGN & MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

Dean has spent the last 20 years creating consumer products for mass-manufacturing overseas. With over fifteen patents filed and dozens of products…

Dean has spent the last 20 years creating consumer products for mass-manufacturing overseas. With over fifteen patents filed and dozens of products sold around the world, Dean enjoys helping people make new things. Dean is also an urban cycling advocate and music + lighting guru.

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GERRE MAE BARCEBAL

UI/UX DESIGN

Gerre Mae is a concept driven visual and UX/UI designer. She has a unique ability to transform information into visual concepts and…

Gerre Mae is a concept driven visual and UX/UI designer. She has a unique ability to transform information into visual concepts and experiences and has worked on projects ranging from digital identity, educational reform, to court room procedures. With this interest in the social impact space and design for good, she comes to URBAN-X with a background in branding, digital, and editorial design. Gerre Mae is an alumni of Drexel University and received her BS in graphic design.

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MICHAEL SHARP

VISUAL DESIGN & BRAND DEVELOPMENT

Michael Sharp has been working as a creative in agencies large and small around the world, including in London, Amsterdam, Sydney and…

Michael Sharp has been working as a creative in agencies large and small around the world, including in London, Amsterdam, Sydney and New York. His career has spanned many sectors from the cool to the corporate – but always with the same passion for great design and new ideas. Michael has been lecturing in graphic design at the Shillington School of Graphic Design in New York since 2011. He co-founded the China heights gallery in Sydney and Lazy Susan gallery in NYC.

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GREG LINDSAY

URBANIST-IN-RESIDENCE

Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a contributing writer for Fast Company, author of the forthcoming book…

Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a contributing writer for Fast Company, author of the forthcoming book Engineering Serendipity, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next. He is also a senior fellow of the New Cities Foundation — where he leads the Connected Mobility Initiative — a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, and a senior fellow of the World Policy Institute. He is now the inaugural Urbanist-in-Residence at URBAN-X.

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CHRISTINA SICOLI

UI/UX DESIGN

Christina Sicoli is an industrial and brand designer, specializing in creating experiences through products. With a diverse background, her process is defined…

Christina Sicoli is an industrial and brand designer, specializing in creating experiences through products. With a diverse background, her process is defined by the ability to blend interior, industrial and graphic field experience into different design approaches. Her work focuses largely on examining relationships between people, objects, and environments to create meaningful interactions; challenging people to look past objects, and engage in their surroundings. Sicoli’s minimalist style distills objects to their fundamental purpose, providing reason for her design decisions. This ensures simple yet engaging pieces which aim to stay with their users for years to come.

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JAMES CALHOUN

FULL-STACK SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

James Calhoun has 15+ years of experience leading development and production of complex technology solutions for enterprise companies and startup founders. He…

James Calhoun has 15+ years of experience leading development and production of complex technology solutions for enterprise companies and startup founders. He has worked with numerous languages to build award-winning websites, mobile applications, and experiential installations in Europe, Asia and the United States. In 2013, James founded Rehash Studio, where he applies his experience to help startups plan and scale their technology platforms.

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Investment Committee.

Our investment committee is made up of a diverse group of experts that help URBAN-X maintain the integrity of the program and its startups while informing the overall direction and future of URBAN-X.

STONLY BAPTISTE

PARTNER AT URBAN US VENTURES, CONSULTANT AND LECTURER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO BOOTH SCHOOL

PETER SCHWARZENBAUER

BOARD OF MANAGEMENT, BMW AG, MINI

ESTHER BAHNE

HEAD OF BRAND STRATEGY & BUSINESS INNOVATION MINI & PRESIDENT MINI BUSINESS INNOVATION LLC

SHAUN ABRAHAMSON

MANAGING PARTNER, URBAN US

OUR PARTNERS.

Let’s talk.

Partner with us and join our network – we want to hear from you. Let us know how you want to get involved with URBAN-X.

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