Vote Upward Labs
Describe your program (<500 characters)
Upward Labs is a CT based startup lab and venture fund that developed the ideal ecosystem to fast-track AgeTech and PropTech startups in the US. The program matches startups with decision makers from major Fortune 100 and 500 companies that dominate their industries. The startups and their corporate advisers work together for six months to first identify the most commercially viable use cases and then test them in the Lab’s numerous sandbox buildings and facilities.
As the pilots deliver data and results, the Lab and its advisers work with the startups to refine their product and offering, thus enabling rapid growth and commercial traction. Upward Labs is backed by Connecticut Innovations, the strategic venture capital arm of the state of Connecticut.
What are the coolest, most popular features of your program? (<500 characters)
Our program is completely unique. Every startup in the lab is guaranteed two commercial pilots over the life of the program, meaning we run 20 pilots simultaneously with a marquee list of pilot partners. The ability to test the product in a real world setting allows for rapid learning on behalf of the startups and a unique opportunity for our partners to see the startups in action. The Lab also has 30+ Corporate and Participating partners including Travelers, The Hartford, Aetna, Cigna and more. Very few programs in the country have the number, quality and pedigree of our partner base. Our program also provides a fast lane into Connecticut and the U.S. market for innovative international startups who want to launch their business in Connecticut.
What impact did your program make is 2019? (<500 characters)
Our program started in 2019 and we are currently on our second cohort. Half of our first cohort decided they were going to use Hartford as a launchpad for their business in the U.S. and hire local sales and business development resources in the region. One of our startups (BEAD) loved the program so much that they decided to relocate their headquarters to Hartford (from Germany), with plans to manufacture here as well. Our program is young, but starting to drive a significant amount of economic activity for Connecticut that will only increase over time.
What people are saying about Upward Labs...
Upward Labs is a first-of-its-kind accelerator that pairs the world’s most advanced Smart Building and Aged Care startups with Real Estate and Assisted Living/Home Health partners for a 6-month custom pilot program. Strategically operating from Hartford, Connecticut, the Labs’ 27 corporate partners - including Hartford's leading Fortune 500 companies - advise and mentor the startups for the duration of the program.The first Upward Labs cohort (May-October 2019) proved extremely successful for this new program, with 4 out of 8 companies announcing an official move to Hartford upon completion of the 6-month pilot experience (BEAD Technologies - Germany, WizeCare - Israel, Xandar Kardian - South Korea, and Nonnatech - NYC). Jess Morin