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Press Release5/10/2022

COTA Partners with REV1 Ventures

Supporting Emerging Technologies and Startups through COTA GO! Mobility Lab Activation

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and REV1 Ventures, the Columbus startup studio that helps startups scale and corporations innovate, today announced a partnership to find and support emerging technologies through COTA’s GO! Mobility Lab. As the mobility industry continued to evolve, COTA is focusing on innovations and partnerships that will help to deliver equitable, accessible public transit services and keep Central Ohio at the forefront of smart mobility innovation.

Through this collaboration, Rev1 Ventures and COTA are working on advancing new technologies in customer experience, mobility planning, and operational excellence by tapping into emerging technologies and startups looking to transform the ease of use and access to public transportation mobility options. Additionally, the GO! Mobility Lab provides an innovation workspace to bring entrepreneurs and technology together with the COTA innovation team to work side-by-side on smart mobility projects.

“COTA’s goal of providing equitable, accessible transit as our region rapidly grows requires new technology and new ways of thinking about and approaching mobility,” said Joanna M. Pinkerton, COTA President/CEO. “This partnership with Rev1 will allow COTA to tap into a powerful startup ecosystem and foster the technologies needed to advance smart mobility for our customers and our organization. Our Go! Mobility Lab and Innovation Team have had great success in recent years collaborating with our well-established corporate and non-profit partners, and we are excited to begin working with entrepreneurs, too who are looking to shape and alter how transit operates through innovative mobility solutions.”

One of the many and most unique ways COTA supports startups is by adopting technologies across their business. Beyond adoption, the COTA team is committed to providing support through their market expertise, identifying opportunities for joint development, product testing and more.

For example, COTA has partnered with Rekor, an AI-powered platform for intelligent infrastructure, to soon launch what will become the largest Artificial Intelligence implementation of its kind in the country and the first involving public transit agencies. It allows participating transit agencies, counties and public safety organizations for the first time to share, view and react to real-time traffic information across 13 central Ohio counties on a single web-based platform.

The partnership began with Waycare, an early-stage company offering cloud-based mobility technology, which Rekor acquired in August 2021. Funded by a $1.725 million U.S. Department of Transportation innovation grant, COTA and Rekor are now testing the system with partners, demonstrating how regions could increase safety, data visibility, cross-agency collaboration, improve operational efficiencies and deliver equitable mobility for all.

Rev1 brings to the table a nationally recognized investor startup studio that has proven to help corporate partners drive innovations that provide a competitive advantage. As one of the most active VCs in the U.S., Rev1 knows how to identify, assess and engage with startups with the most potential for long-term success.

“Through our partnership, COTA is harnessing the collective power of its transit expertise and the infrastructure they’ve built, and weaving in Rev1’s startup studio approach for rapidly advancing innovative solutions by seeking to find and engage with breakthrough technologies in the industry,” said Mike McCann, Chief Business Development Officer for Rev1 Ventures.