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Feb 15, 2018

Why BMW keeps Mini undercover in Brooklym

Last week I visited Urban-X Demo Day held at A/D/O in Brooklyn, a 23,000 square foot space that houses co-working space and a restaurant, and is low-key funded by BMW’s Mini brand. I say low-key because there’s not a single Mini logo on the site, or Cooper-like vehicle parked out front of the facility. I arrived with the same skepticism I take to any carmaker-sponsored event that feels like an attempt to sell me the future. How can anyone sell the future, when no one knows exactly what will stick?

I watched presentations from nine startups focused on improving life in cities. Some focused on infrastructure ideas, like RoadBotics, designed to cure the pavement of potholes through machine learning, or Swiftera, a company that makes...

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