Highline Beta, Aviva Canada launch road safety, smart city accelerator

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Highline Beta, alongside insurance company Aviva Canada, today launched an accelerator focused on addressing road safety and smart city challenges.

“More than 156,000 people are killed or seriously injured on our roads annually, which is unacceptable.”

Entitled, Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator, the program will focus on scaling and piloting emerging technologies in order to make cities smarter and more efficient. It plans to work with early-stage startups in verticals such as IoT, urban mobility, and connectivity as it looks to tackle road safety, mobility and other smart city challenges.

“More than 156,000 people are killed or seriously injured on our roads annually, which is unacceptable,” says Catherine Brown, VP of corporate social responsibility at Aviva Canada. “That’s why we launched our multi-year investment in Take Back Our Roads, Aviva’s new social impact platform aimed at making Canadian roads safer. By leveraging internal third party data to identify Canadian intersections and school zones that pose the greatest danger, and by working with organizations like Highline Beta, our goal is to affect meaningful change in this space.”

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The accelerator will run for six months and plans to provide startups with coaching and “tailored programming” to help connect them with enterprise partners. The accelerator will run in two, three-month-long stages; first helping companies develop a proof-of-concept (POC) with a corporate partner, with “successful” companies that enter into a commercial agreement getting to test and launch their product.

Highline Beta stated that it will not be making an equity investment upfront, but there will be opportunities for follow-on investment from Highline Beta as its founding partners, (which to date includes Aviva Canada). It also noted that while the program will take place in Toronto, full-time presence in the city is not required.

Applications for the first cohort are currently open and will close on September 27. The accelerator program is set to start in November. Highline Beta noted that over the next six months it will be seeking input from startups, corporations, industry professionals, and global experts in the industry in order to understand the needs surrounding road safety, mobility, and connectivity in cities.

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“Collaboration is the best approach to creating safer and more connected cities across Canada,” said Marcus Daniels, founding partner and CEO of Highline Beta. “No one company or organization can solve today’s mobility challenges alone. We’re excited to launch with Aviva onboard, as we gear up to announce more partners soon. We’re always looking to team up with innovative companies that share our mission to make cities safer for everyone.”

Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator marks Highline Beta’s third corporate accelerator. The others include RBC Reach, which looks to make it easier for startups to do business with RBC, as well as Accelerator 100+, which looks to address sustainability goals including climate action, packaging, smart agriculture, and water.

Photo by Dan Gold via Unsplash

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Senior Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.

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