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Startups Participating in 1776 and Transurban Smart Highways Challenge Deliver Final Project Pitches

Teams compete to partner with Transurban to implement smart infrastructure programs

Arlington, Va. — Today, the six-month 1776 and Transurban Smart Highways Challenge and Innovation lab program culminated in a “demonstration day.” Six startup companies delivered presentations outlining opportunities to improve the roads managed by Transurban.

Following the presentations, judges from Transurban questioned the teams about their products and services and how the solutions could integrate into Transurban’s roadway networks.

“Transurban and 1776 launched this partnership to drive innovation and empower startups to introduce new ideas aimed at improving transportation networks for the traveling public and regional economies,” said Leigh Petschel, Vice President of Operations for Transurban. “We thank each startup for their efforts and look forward to advancing programs to strengthen traffic management on Virginia roads.”

Transurban will conduct an evaluation of the pitches and announce the winning partnerships in early 2018.

“The Smart Highways Challenge illustrates that the global startup ecosystem can be a rich source of ideas and solutions for complex industries like transportation. Collaboration between startups with established companies like Transurban can make all the difference in building a stronger business and remaining competitive,” said Evan Burfield, Cofounder and Chairman of 1776. “We are thrilled to have partnered with Transurban and the six participating startups to develop their ideas further and find new ways to foster their work together to improve highways.”

The startup teams offered solutions to transportations challenges in the following three areas:

  • Vehicle monitoring: products for monitoring roads, tolls, and vehicles
  • Smart transportation: products that utilize cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, or robotics in building vehicles
  • Road safety: products and tools that build more resilient vehicles, predict traffic and driver behavior, and create a safer road environment.

The demonstration day marks the end of a 90-day incubation period that provided startups with resources to test their products, consult with Transurban’s transportation experts and receive mentorship from 1776 to grow their companies.

The startups were selected to participate in the Innovation Lab in June following their successful applications to the Transurban Challenge. 1776 hosted the winners at their Crystal City campus for the Innovation Lab.


About Transurban

Transurban is a pioneer of the public-private partnership (P3) managed lanes concept in the United States. Our North American business was among the pioneers of public-private partnerships for major transportation infrastructure in the Virginia region. Our Express Lanes network features industry-leading tolling and traffic management systems on more than 40 miles of managed lanes across the 495 and 95 Express Lanes. Transurban was one of the first to use a number of innovative financing and technology strategies in the development of major toll road projects.

About 1776

1776 is the Northeast corridor’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators with 11 campuses in 4 states and the District of Columbia. We are a next-generation incubator serving a community of bold entrepreneurs and companies impacting their ecosystems.


Morgan Gress