Briefing

Highline Beta and Aviva Canada launch smart-city, road-safety and mobility accelerator

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The Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator will run for six months; it will provide startups with coaching and support to test and commercialize products. Highline Beta, a venture capital firm and startup co-creator, will provide programming and potential investments; Aviva, an insurance company, will help the firms enter commercial agreements. (The Logic)

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Talking point: This is Highline Beta’s second corporate accelerator in social responsibility; the first is Accelerator 100+, which is for startups in environmental sustainability. Aviva Canada’s involvement is through its Take Back Our Roads initiative. The $5-million campaign was kicked off through branded crosswalk flags placed in dangerous intersections in Toronto; city officials made the firm remove them, as they were installed without permission. The new accelerator will rely on technological innovations to improve road safety. Aviva’s advantage in the space is the amount of data it’s collected: the company received $1.4 billion in annual car-accident claims in 2018. Road injuries remain the leading cause of death for children and youth aged 19 and under in Canada; serious injuries are also underreported in several jurisdictions in the country.