Next step in the digital campaign: Porsche has become the latest partner of the Startup Autobahn innovation platform in Stuttgart, where newly established companies from around the world are developing ideas for the mobility of the future.
The platform focuses on developing technologies right up to project maturity. Porsche is supporting the company founders by providing an experienced team of mentors. “This gives our culture of innovation an extra boost”, says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche. “Digitalization, electrification and connectivity are revolutionizing the automotive industry. We see this as an opportunity, and we want to make the most of it. These top talents from the international start-up scene give us external inspiration that accelerates the progress we are making. To make this happen, we provide the start-ups with an environment in which they can reach their full potential and focus on their work. As one of the world’s leading automotive and high-tech regions, Stuttgart is an ideal place for this project”.
Under the motto “The spirit of Silicon Valley. In the hub of mobility engineering”, Porsche will collaborate will other corporate partners Daimler, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, ZF Friedrichshafen, BASF and Murata in the Startup Autobahn innovation platform. The ultimate goal is to develop Stuttgart as a technology hub. The project was launched in 2016 by the American accelerator Plug and Play, together with Daimler, the University of Stuttgart and Arena2036. Plug and Play is one of the largest tech-focused investors and venture capitals in Silicon Valley, Berlin, Spain, Singapore and Brazil. Since 2006, the accelerator has supported more than 2,000 start-ups and has a global network of around 300 corporate partners. Every year, Plug and Play organizes about 400 events around the world to bring start-ups and investors together. It also acts as an investor itself.
Rigorous selection process culminates in “Expo Day”
Applicants have to go through a rigorous selection process. After an initial pre-selection, the first major hurdle is the “Selection Day”. If an applicant submits an idea that wins over the jury, they will receive special coaching sessions from mentors and partner companies over a period of three months, including focus weeks and monthly network meetings. The start-ups are able to use the co-working space and hardware lab at Arena2036 during this time. They are also given access to Plug and Play’s global network. The name “Arena” stands for “Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles”; in 2036, the automobile will be 150 years old. The extensive, high-tech workshop houses technology worth millions, including tools, production machinery, 3D printers, robots and software for prototype construction and small-scale series production.
The service includes contact with the spheres of business, research and politics, as well as with investors, potential customers and mentors. The development process is supported by a range of additional services, from legal and tax advice to professional help in financial planning and project management. The aim of this process is for the applicants to inspire potential investors at the final “Expo Day”. The type of start-up funding provided is based on the company’s degree of maturity. It is possible that funding may involve taking shares in the company or reaching individual agreements. Out of the 300 applicants in the first wave, 13 made it through to the final on February 9 in Stuttgart. Around 1,000 guests were also in attendance.
Startup Autobahn focuses on finding and supporting “hard tech start-ups” that offer intelligent solutions at the interface between hardware and software. A start-up community from Germany and Canada presented solutions in the field of machine learning. One start-up in Tel Aviv has developed a form of glass projection technology that turns car windscreens into advertising space. The finalists also included the Cologne-based founders of Evopark. This start-up has created an app that shows drivers which car parks have spaces available, and then guides them to the space. The electronic parking ticket removes the need for paper tickets, and drivers receive a bill at the end of the month.
Turning visions into reality
Porsche holds a stake in Evopark through the new Porsche Digital GmbH, which represents the interface between Porsche and innovators worldwide. It identifies and enhances digital customer experiences, products, business areas and processes. The Porsche subsidiary tests and implements new value creation models and innovative product offerings in close cooperation with all company departments.
The Digital Lab in Berlin represents another step that Porsche has made towards digital transformation. Its purpose is to identify and test innovative information technology solutions. Several teams focus on the question of how Porsche can take innovations from the fields of big data and machine learning, micro services and cloud technologies, Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, and turn them into practical commercial solutions at Porsche.
Startup Autobahn is a continuation of the innovation campaign at Porsche. “It’s the fantastic ideas, the network and the partnerships that are the lifeblood of this competition”, says Oliver Blume. “We bring together forward-thinking technologies and innovative business models. The pilot projects give rise to prototypes for use in specific applications. The goal of our campaign is to develop Porsche into a leading provider of digital mobility solutions in the premium automotive segment”.
|Automotive Startups: Accelerator program for startups working on future of mobility
Daimler is establishing STARTUP AUTOBAHN, the new startup ecosystem in Stuttgart. “In contrast to Silicon Valley with its software focus, with STARTUP AUTOBAHN both software and, above all, hardware-oriented projects are to be in the foreground. We are warmly welcoming international as well as local startups”, says Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Whether it’s the USA, China, India or Germany…read more
About Startup Autbahn
Startup Autobahn is the ultimate innovation platform that unites global startups with the unrivaled tech expertise of Silicon Valley and the best of German engineering. Autobahn means controlled access highway system in Germany. Autobahns have no mandated speed limit.
About Plug and Play Tech Center
The Plug and Play Tech Center has over 20 locations in Silicon Valley, Germany, Spain, Singapore, China and Brazil, making it one of the biggest and most experienced accelerator operators. Having looked after more than 2000 startups since it was founded ten years ago, Plug and Play has grown with a technical focus and venture capitals to become the world’s largest global accelerator. Plug and Play organizes over 365 events all over the world every year in order to network startups and investors and operates also as an investor.
The highly technologised ARENA2036 with its area of 10,000 m2 as a research campus is a new form of cooperation in which renowned partners from science and industry research innovative subject areas related to automotive production of the future under the same roof as the startups. A unique high-tech centre is being created in the heart of the economic region of Baden-Württemberg. The name “ARENA2036” stands for “Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles”. By the year 2036, the 150th anniversary of the car, the stated aims are to be implemented at the ARENA2036 research campus, thus paving the way for the automotive engineering of the future.
Via: The Porsche Newsroom