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Innovator: Runner-up
Anne Hunger
Co-founder and COO, GlüxKind Technologies

Before they became new parents early last year, Anne Hunger and her partner went hunting for a stroller. They didn’t like what they saw. “It became apparent pretty quickly that strollers are not very smart,” recalls Hunger, who worked as an adviser for real estate management consultant Colliers Project Leaders after moving to Vancouver from Germany in 2017.

Or very safe: every hour in the U.S., two stroller-related accidents send kids to the emergency department. Doing some market research, Hunger and three male co-founders launched GlüxKind Technologies. Their stroller, now at the prototype stage, combines artificial intelligence and robotics with traditional design. Its features include an alert if the seatbelt isn’t on properly, says Hunger, who previously helped Adidas and auto giant Daimler to create workplaces that foster innovation.

If your child is walking or in your arms, the stroller follows you autonomously, she adds. It also has a push-and-brake assistant: “Our stroller would not run away because it senses the distance between the user and the stroller and would always stay within arms’ reach.”

GlüxKind, whose name means “lucky child,” plans to launch in Canada and the U.S. this year. The company—which will focus its marketing on tech hubs, whose residents are more likely to be early adopters—is part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sandbox Innovation Program. Along with pre-seed funding, the team of 12 has secured financial and other support from the National Research Council of Canada.

Because the smart stroller’s cameras track the pedestrian environment, which is tough for robots to navigate, Hunger can see spinning off a data business aimed at companies working on other applications that call for sidewalk autonomy. GlüxKind could also give parents with disabilities new freedom, she says. “Everybody wants to explore the world with their little ones, but not everybody is able to do so right now.”