As we close out spring in the city and summer approaches, New Yorkers will be largely reliant on window air conditioners to get through the hot, blistering days in their apartments. 75% of the buildings in NYC’s five boroughs were constructed before 1960 and central air systems in buildings became more prevalent in the latter portion of the 1960s. Even in cases where a building is refurbished, many developers opt to avoid the immense cost of retrofitting central systems due to immense costs and regulations. While window air conditioners haven’t changed much in appearance, Windmill modernizes the window air-conditioner with its state-of-the-art, wifi-connected units. Retailing for ~$395, the company offers a powerful, efficient unit that cools rooms up to 350sq feet; the sleek casing looks more like an Apple product than a typical box that hasn’t really evolved in decades. Windmill’s first model is available direct-to-consumer through its site and online through Home Depot; the company will be sold in PC Richard showrooms and its website soon. AlleyWatch caught up with Founder and CEO Mike Mayer to learn more about the inspiration of the business, the future expansion plans, and latest round of funding from investors that include Pentland Ventures, Untitled, Next Play Ventures, and Graph Ventures.
Buildings generate 80% of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions. Improving energy efficiency isn’t only important to the environment but it also reduces costs, making housing more affordable in the long run. BlocPower is an energy technology startup that combines technology with structured finance solutions to encourage business owners to abandon their existing, obsolete heating and cooling solutions and replace them with sustainable alternatives. The company leverages machine learning to identify the buildings that will benefit the most from energy savings. For building owners, there is no upfront cost and repayment comes directly from energy savings. The company has already retrofitted 1000+ buildings in NYC and is expanding its efforts nationwide with projects in progress in 24 cities.
AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and cofounder Donnel Baird to learn more about the company, how his work with the Obama administration sparked the idea for the business, the company’s future plans, recent round of funding from investors that include American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact (AmFam), AccelR8 and The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, with participation from Kapor Capital, Elemental Excelerator, CityRock Venture Partners, The Schmidt Family Foundation and Salesforce Ventures.
There are approximately 22 billion sensors used in the automotive industry per year according to a 2017 study and the average automobile has at least 60 individual sensors. The push towards autonomous vehicles will only increase the number of sensors used exponentially. Actasys has built a critical sensor-cleaning technology for vehicles and smart mobility systems ensuring that these sensors can be operated continuously safely. ActaJet™ is an electronically controlled array of actuator cartridges that generates strong jets of air without the need for mechanical pumps or compressors. The company is partnered with automotive companies like Volvo and the technology is also being deployed in other use-cases such as robots, camera systems, traffic monitors, and more. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO Miles Flamenbaum to learn more about the core technology, its practical uses, and the company’s recent funding round.
Conjure (formerly Mobley) offers a flexible furniture rental model that gives customers access to designer-curated furniture pieces and home accessories for 3-12 months. The service also includes free assembly and delivery as well as the option to trade-in, purchase, or return pieces at the end of the lease term. AlleyWatch caught up with COO and Cofounder Aditya Khilnani to learn more about how Conjure impacts the home décor industry, makes designer furniture accessible, and the company’s recent funding from investors that include Pillar VC, RiverPark Ventures, and CoVenture.
Epidemics have shaped the development of urban settings – the plague in Athens, the Black Death in Rome, and Cholera outbreaks in the 1800s in London and New York. As society wrestles the effects of this pandemic, the world is reimaging on what life will look like Post-COVID including how cities, which comprise over half of the world’s population, will be affected in the near and long-term. Today, we chat with Miguel Gamino Jr., Executive Vice President for Global Cities at Mastercard, where he leads Global Cities and City Possible, connecting academia, government, and industry to foster inclusive sustainable urban development that’s reshaping the world we live in today and setting the foundation for tomorrow. He was kind enough to join us to provide some candid insight into the meaningful work that Mastercard is doing in New York and globally to address some of the challenges that cities face through partnerships, innovation, and data.
In 2012, Rahul Gandhi was living in Brooklyn when Hurricane Sandy hit. The amount of destruction and flooding required the need for temporary storage. That experience led to the founding of MakeSpace with the mission to change the complex, expensive, and labor-intensive experience of self-storage. Fast forward to today and MakeSpace is now available in 31 markets across North America, with over 30,0000 customers and has raised a total of $142.6M across seven rounds. Gandhi shares more about the impressive journey and future plans…
Autonomous eVTOLs (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing systems) are coming sooner than you think.
Like the city that hosts the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) there is a lot of noise on the show floor. Sifting through the lights, sounds, and people can be an arduous task even for the most experienced CES attendees. Hidden past the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is a walkway to a tech […]
Every 39 seconds a cyber attack hits companies and government offices in the United States. Last week, after moderating a discussion with Chuck Brooks of General Dynamics on the vulnerabilities of ransomware, a non-profit that I support became the latest victim. This all too close event, that threatened millions of personal identities (including mine), is a painful […]
At the turn of the twentieth century, the swelling populations of newly arrived immigrants in New York City’s Lower East Side reached a boiling point, forcing the City to pass the 1901 Tenement House Act. Recalling this legislation, New York City’s Mayor’s Office recently responded to its own modern housing crisis by enabling developers for the […]
At the recent Smart Cities Conference in NYC, individuals and organizations that are spearheading the Smart Cities movement discussed the circular economy. The circular economy aims to minimize waste and make the most of resources. In other words, the circular economy represents everything that your disposable coffee cup does not. The individuals that led this […]