Accelerating Infrastructure IoT Solutions: Co-Development Program for Engineering Software Startups
EXTON, Pa. – June 1, 2023: Bentley Systems, Incorporated (Nasdaq: BSY), a leading infrastructure engineering software company, has unveiled iTwin Activate, a co-development program spanning 20 weeks, aimed at accelerating early-stage startups in the field of infrastructure engineering software. This program, organized into cohorts that align with specific industry sectors, is overseen by Bentley iTwin Ventures, a corporate venture capital fund of $100 million that fosters innovation through co-investment in startups and emerging companies.
The iTwin Activate program provides comprehensive support to startups in defining and constructing industry-relevant solutions by leveraging Bentley technology through co-development funding, solutions architecture assistance, and access to Bentley executives for commercial insights. Tom Kurke, Vice President of iTwin Ventures at Bentley, shared his excitement about the program’s initial cohort, a selective group of four startups specializing in the electric grid industry. He expressed enthusiasm for the innovative solutions developed by these startups, which incorporated Bentley’s technology. The collaborative projects exemplify the emergence of new capabilities resulting from such partnerships, with shared users already reaping the benefits of these new tools and the efficiencies they bring.
The first cohort of iTwin Activate, known as Grid, included four startups: Spatial Data.AI, Virtual Technology Simplified, Rebase Energy, and SurPlus Maps. Spatial Data.AI automated the processing of LiDAR data into various ready-to-use vector formats, integrating with Bentley’s pole analysis solution, SPIDAcalc. Doug Culbert, the founder of Spatial Data.AI, acknowledged the program’s support in creating a design-centric digital twin for electrical distribution and telecommunications companies, expanding their service offerings and enabling digital transformations within these markets.
Virtual Technology Simplified (VTS) developed a data mobility and visualization solution on the iTwin Platform, allowing for tablet and phone data capture of utility assets. John Chwalibog, the founder and CEO of VTS, praised the program for providing access to Bentley’s subject matter experts, who assisted in problem identification and collaborated on finding technical solutions. He also highlighted the invaluable experience gained from interacting with a diverse cohort of startups, addressing challenges commonly faced during the transition from a startup to a funded company.
The upcoming iTwin Activate Cohort #2 will concentrate on Infrastructure Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions and is open for applications from interested parties. Cory Baldwin, Bentley’s Vice President of Infrastructure IoT, expressed his goals for this cohort, emphasizing the company’s eagerness to collaborate with startups in the IoT space to address the infrastructure sector’s needs. The focus will be on predictive analytics, deriving insights from sensor data federated in the iTwin Platform, and the development of novel sensors or sensing technologies that can be integrated into Bentley’s digital twin ecosystem.
Startups working on infrastructure IoT solutions are encouraged to apply for participation in iTwin Activate Cohort #2 through the application portal at https://bentleyitwinventures.com/itwinactivate/. Applications will be accepted until June 16, 2023, and participants will be notified of their application status by June 23, 2023. Bentley Systems plans to announce iTwin Activate Cohort #3, which will concentrate on generative artificial intelligence for infrastructure use cases, in the summer of 2023.