The question behind
our impact stories
What brought you here?
The Urban Engine team loves this question.
We rarely hear the same answer twice.
After asking hundreds of people how they ended up at Urban Engine we began to realize the dynamic impact our work has on the communities we serve. So, we started to capture the stories of people in our networks and the unique ways our programs and resources have made a difference in their entrepreneurial journey. Thus, The Collective Ambition was born.
The Collective Ambition™ is Urban Engine’s central hub of impact stories. It is our collection of the notable people and ideas that inspire us to spark, fuel and ignite the next generation of visionaries through our community programming. You will find features of founders and their startup stories with a focus on how their professional developments make an impact in their local cities. Experience the waves of transformation these motivational influencers have stormed through their hard work.
Two startups will receive $50,000 after their pitches in the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Innovation Challenge on Tuesday. The event pitted nine companies putting forward ideas through the ideation accelerator known as Urban Engine, and - get this! - the purpose was to improve efficiency at Mercedes-Benz's Vance manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.Read More
Mercedes-Benz opened its doors to firms from around the world to dream up solutions to challenges on the factory floor. After qualifying their ideas with Urban Engine, engineers and innovators came back to pitch and validate their own ideas during the MBUSI Innovation Challenge Competition!
MBUSI President Jason Hoff said the company decided to take a different approach this time in tackling problem areas around the plant. The idea was to turn lose minds that aren't normally engaged in automotive manufacturing and see what happened.
"This year, (the IT department) came forward and said there's a lot of great companies out there with really cool ideas. Let's present our challenges and see what comes back. It's a new approach for us," Hoff said. "We purposely left the challenges pretty vague and the rest is up to them."
Drones that inventory.
Augmented reality glasses giving instructions to workers.
Artificial intelligence solutions.
More efficient lunch breaks.
It was a unique opportunity, said Rahul Chipalkatty, the founder and CEO of Southie, a Boston-based company. Southie came with a pitch on how to deploy robots in logistics centers for smaller, more specialized tasks that may be needed for short periods of time.
Those are a few of the ideas pitched tonight at Mercedes-Benz's Innovation Challenge, a startup competition staged this evening at the Vance plant's training center. Teams were split into startup companies and student & professional groups. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners of the challenge.
Read the full story on AL.com