NORFOLK, Virginia - December 28, 2020: Today RISE announced FloodMapp as the winner of the Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge. FloodMapp, a technology startup, will receive up to $300,000 in funding, business mentorship and support to demonstrate and commercialize a real-time flood prediction system which will provide drivers live traffic routing around flooded roads. FloodMapp will pilot its technology in the Hampton Roads region of Coastal Virginia, where RISE provides a real-world demonstration testbed for novel resilience solutions that help coastal communities adapt to flooding and sea level rise. Current flood warnings and data are very broad, with no personalized or actionable insights on what roads may be closed due to flooding, or what assets may be impacted. As part of the Challenge with RISE, FloodMapp has developed integration for its real-time flood model, with live mapping platforms such as WAZE and Esri, enabling live traffic routing around flooded roads or location specific alerts. As the winner, FloodMapp will implement and run a real-world demonstration pilot in Hampton Roads in close coordination with cities and industry experts. “People already use traffic and routing apps. However, automatically conveying rapidly changing flood hazards to such applications for their route guidance systems in real-time is complex and has not yet been demonstrated,” said Dr. Paul Robinson, RISE’s Executive Director. “The goal of the Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge is to close that gap to help improve safety and efficiency for residents and businesses. Coastal communities have been asking for this capability.” FloodMapp co-founders Juliette Murphy and Ryan Prosser created the startup in 2017 after experiencing first hand consequences during the catastrophic floods in Australia and Canada. The Urban Mobility Challenge created an opportunity to build and refine a resilience solution that could be scaled for other coastal communities, including their own. “The advantage of working with RISE and piloting our solution in the Hampton Roads area is that we have been able to test our solution live, and get valuable feedback from users who suffer directly from the problems that we are solving,” said Murphy, who also serves as FloodMapp’s CEO. FloodMapp was selected as the winner from four finalists that received a three-month intensive business mentorship from RISE’s Resilience Innovation Accelerator. The program helped the teams test their assumptions and business hypotheses with potential customers and refine their business plan before pitching to the RISE Investment Committee. Prosser, who also serves as FloodMapp’s CTO, said RISE’s program helped illustrate the “large market opportunity for our solution with not only governments, but also utilities, transport & logistics companies and insurers who are all looking to improve safety, prevent damage and reduce business interruption when it comes to flooding.” The Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge benefited from RISE’s partnerships with Esri and Waze, and the partner cities of Houston, Miami, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, in addition to Sentara Healthcare, the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, the Port of Virginia, the George Washington University, Old Dominion University, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. “These partnerships will continue to be essential in providing guidance to FoodMapp to help refine their solution and make it scalable to other coastal communities,” said Dr. Katerina Oskarsson, RISE’s Chief Strategy Officer. The three remaining Challenge finalists will continue to benefit from programming offered to the growing community of resilience entrepreneurs that RISE has built in Hampton Roads. “Through these competitions, and the establishment of a one-stop-shop Resilience Innovation Hub in Hampton Roads, Virginia, the region has become a real-world living laboratory for companies, where the products and services we need to adapt to the impacts of climate change can be demonstrated locally and applied globally,” said Robinson. About RISE RISE accelerates innovation and business growth around solutions to coastal resilience challenges in the living laboratory of Hampton Roads, Virginia.
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