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On October 25-26, 2023, experts of the urban tech ecosystem gathered in Warsaw, Poland with a mission to drive urban transformation and accelerate the development of net-zero cities. The spotlight of the event was the Urban Tech Challengers 2023 superfinals, during which the 4 up-and-coming startups in this sector pitched their innovative solutions to an exclusive jury panel of industry professionals. Each urban tech pioneer advocated for one of 4 tracks: Elevating Life & Work Experience, Optimising Urban Operations, Building for the Future, and Enabling Better Infrastructure.

As Antonios Tsiligiannis, Project Manager at POLIS Network, put it on the first day of the conference, “we’re at a crossroad of human history – it’s not climate change anymore. It’s a climate crisis”. So what technologies are taking the centre stage while decarbonising cities, and where to expect the next big breakthrough?

Vertical farming

One of the finalists of Urban Tech Challengers 2023, Square Mile Farms, is rewriting the rules of farming and agriculture by integrating vertical farms into the cities. Farms of this sort can be built all over the world, and Square Mile Farms is doubling down on that benefit by enhancing urban living conditions. “Square Mile Farms is especially focused on implementing this at our offices, because office farms bring wellbeing and sustainability to the modern workplace”, claims Patrick Dumas, Founder & CEO of Square Mile Farms. This innovation reconnects urban communities, engages employees, purifies the air, and improves mental health. 

Mobile perception technologies

Another startup to look out for is Hayden AI. This company has developed technologies that are revolutionising how governments and businesses can solve real-world problems. Their mobile perception system is used to speed up transit, make streets safer, and create a better future for citizens. What’s more, mobile perception devices can detect and enforce traffic violations and dramatically improve the efficiency in the streets. 

Building life cycle analysis

With the potential to catalyse the energy and carbon transition in buildings, digital and data sciences could aid the construction industry. That’s exactly what Vizcab, one of the 4 Urban Tech Challengers is trying to achieve. Vizcab is a SaaS platform that enables construction and real estate players to accelerate their carbon transition at any scale and phase of a project, transforming the value chain.

Battery technologies

After the final round of pitches and voting, the jury announced the ultimate winner of Urban Tech Challengers 2023 – Natrion. This startup is developing futuristic components for automotive and battery manufacturers. Natrion’s innovations can be quickly integrated into the current mobility ecosystem to deploy safe, high-performance all-solid-state rechargeable batteries. The batteries also improve the fire safety, driving range, charge time, and overall lifespan of an electric vehicle.

About Urban Tech Challengers

Urban Tech Challengers is a premier platform for discovering and supporting innovative technology startups that make a difference in the world. Each year, Urban Tech Challengers host a pitch competition for entrepreneurs who develop disruptive products and services for sustainable, resilient and future-proof cities. For more information about Urban Tech Challengers and this year’s finalists, visit

About Urban Tech Forward

Urban Tech Challengers is part of Urban Tech Forward – an annual event that brings together urban tech innovators, VCs, real estate developers, policy-makers and most prominent entrepreneurs to shift the way we build and make real progress on achieving a zero-carbon future. For more information about Urban Tech Forward, visit