UrbView’s mission is to integrate crime and sexual harassment prevention into the urban planning process by providing innovative tools based on artificial intelligence technology. The startup, supported by beyourpilot, is currently developing excellently: Since October they have been funded by the AI.Ideation.Programme, recently they won the Community Award of the Social Impact Awards and now they were ceremoniously presented with the IDEA Award by Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research, Equality and Districts.
Every two years, the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg presents the IDEA Award to promote equality for women in the digital world and to make positive examples visible. This year, UrbView received the award together with Saferspace: both companies were pleased to receive prize money of 25,000 euros. The joint sum is to be used for the further development of existing projects and tools or the implementation of innovative concepts: “Both projects are united by the claim to use technological innovation so that all people can live together equally and safely in public space – regardless of gender, sexual orientation or other characteristics,” explained Second Mayor Katharina Fegebank during the award ceremony.
UrbView wants to use artificial intelligence to inform urban planners and architects about perceived potential threats to streets and public spaces. The reason for this is that women and people who are part of the LGBTI* community are very often victims of various forms of physical, verbal and non-verbal harassment. With UrbView, the award winners Elnaz Nouri, Franziska Vogg, Gerard Jover Pujol and Adrià Molina Rodriguez want to address the need for safety for all citizens. The project is significantly supported by beyourpilot. Startup Consultant Annika Degen has been looking after the startup since May this year with the support of her colleague Imme Godthardt. UrbView is required of them, for example, during the trial pitch, they receive feedback on their public speeches and are supported with various applications. Annika appreciates the vision, the mission as well as the energy that the founders radiate. Together they still want to achieve a lot. We also asked the team a few questions.
*The abbreviation LGBTI stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
Do you feel that your cause or idea is being seen and receiving enough attention?
“UrbView’s progress in recent months is a clear indication of the deep understanding and desire of different sectors, including the startup community, academia and the public sector, to solve the problem of street harassment and crime in public places. In addition, we are very honoured that the IDEA award was given to UrbView and the Saferspaces project, which also addresses the problem of harassment and equality in public spaces. This shows how aware the different actors in the city of Hamburg are of the importance of the issue of street harassment and its impact on gender equality in society.”
How satisfied are you with the feedback you receive?
“We are always happy to receive positive or negative feedback on UrbView’s concept and idea. The positive feedback gives us a boost of energy and encourages us to continue. The negative feedback, on the other hand, opens our eyes to potential problems we might face in the future and helps us to consider different factors we didn’t see before.”
How did you get in touch with beyourpilot or our start-up advisor Annika Degen? How does she help you?
“We came into contact with Annika in April of this year through the start-up service at the University of Hamburg and have benefited from continuous support ever since. Annika and her colleagues regularly provide us with very helpful information on events, funding opportunities and general advice on starting our business. In addition, Annika is always keen to give us helpful feedback on applications, presentations or pitches and is now also our beyourpilot mentor as part of the AI Ideation Programme.”
How are you funded, who supports you?
“We are currently funded by the AI Ideation Programme until the end of March 2023. We also benefit from funding received through the Social Impact Award and the IDEA Prize.”
What other funding are you aiming for?
“As we are not yet registered as a company, we intend to apply for the EXIST-Gründerstipendium in the next few weeks, which would secure us for one year after the end of the AI Ideation Programme. As a possible back-up/follow-up, we are also considering applying for one of the IFB Hamburg funding opportunities.”
Where do you see UrbView in the next three to five years?
“In the next 3 to 5 years, we want to have developed both our AI-based solutions and the associated products for an initial customer base to ensure a steady flow of income. By then, we will not only have grown in terms of personnel, but will also have successfully implemented a number of pilot projects.”