How to launch a start-up in 15 days Cooperation with the European Innovation Academy

When it comes to the European Innovation Academy (EIA), the headline is more than just a slogan. In only 15 days, students from all over the world are trained by mentors from different companies to gain the know-how to establish a start-up company and become a true entrepreneur. Daimler as a cooperation partner takes part in this incredible event. Dennis Dickmann, Lead Product Manager of LAB1886, and Miriam Lozano Aviles, team leader of Global Talent Scouting, give their insights.

What is the LAB1886?

Dickmann: We are the incubator of Daimler AG - creating new business opportunities for the whole company. 1886 is the year of the invention of the first „Motorwagen“ (patent motor car ) of Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz by the way.

Why is Daimler joining the EIA?

Lozano Aviles: Highly qualified students from world class universities and mentors from different companies are coming together for an innovation challenge. As a company that is striving for future mobility solutions we need to find talents that live the start-up spirit and who are keen to develop innovative ideas with us. The EIA is a perfect place to meet and at the same time support students with these characteristics.

How does Daimler manage to stay attractive for top talents?

Dickmann: We’re transforming from an automotive company to a mobility service provider. Establishing a department like the Lab1886 - with a start-up culture and the power of a global player like Daimler at the same time – is just one of the numerous innovation initiatives within our company. To sum up: we offer “the best of both worlds”.

Lozano Aviles: Our company is undergoing a transformation and we want to show that to the applicants as well. That is why our main goal is to give top talents an in-depth understanding of the Daimler world. The participation at the EIA is just one example: We want to accompany the students while they develop their ideas as well as to help them with making decisions for their future career. At our stand we talk to international students about Daimler as an employer, provide them with information about career options within our company and support them individually to find the best suitable job at Daimler.

Mr. Dickmann, you are a chief mentor in EIA Portugal 2018. What is your advice to students - how to make the most out of this experience?

Dickmann: Believe in your skills: doubts are a natural part of a process. And it’s not a disadvantage to be a teamplayer.

What’s been your experience of the EIA so far?

Dickmann: Our attendance was very much appreciated, although surprisingly the fact of Daimler changing from an automotive company to a mobility service provider was not widespread yet. In general the quality of the EIA program, especially the skills of the participating students were very good. The talents were curious and hungry for knowledge. This is also something we can benefit from by mentoring as the Daimler incubator. It was also perfect in terms of networking with future talents. To sum up, I can say that I would love to participate again. It was one of the highlights of the year.

Lozano Aviles: Fulfilling, refreshing, inspiring. We have met highly motivated students willing to create an impact in our society. This is the mindset we need to shape the transformation of our company. We would love to see them in the near future as a part of us.

Why should start-up minded people join Daimler?

Dickmann: We invented the car in a greenhouse in 1886 and were the 1st startup in the automotive sector. To survive in such a competitive market for more than 130 years you need to constantly adopt and develop yourself as a company.

Lozano Aviles: Many students today choose to work in start-ups, which at first glance operate more flexibly than a major company and where they may have a bigger and faster impact. We say: “Everything is available at Daimler, from the start-up culture to the big corporate”. We are reinventing ourselves in an fast changing automotive industry and offer talents the opportunity to work in a start-up atmosphere and in different field of new technologies and innovation. At the same time we are transforming the way we work and our working culture. We are becoming more agile and hierarchies are getting flatter. We offer exciting development possibilities, job security, and workplaces worldwide. From my point of view, combining the best of both sides is the strength of a large company as Daimler.

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