The spirit of Silicon Valley at the center of the art of engineering. STARTUP AUTOBAHN is an innovation platform with open doors for entrepreneurs from the area of mobility. It mediates between startups and large companies, and in the process it brings together specific technical know-how with comprehensive automotive expertise. Its objective is to find out within 100 days whether companies and startups can join together for cooperative projects or investment.
How does this work?
Are we a good match? These questions can be answered by a quick first acquaintance over the course of a 100-day pilot project.
It starts with a worldwide scouting process that evaluates more than 1,000 startups. During phases of intense work with our specialized experts (Deep Dives), we evaluate and filter the startups according to theme clusters. On Selection Day we then create fixed partnerships for upcoming pilot projects through a kind of “speed dating” process. A total of approximately 30 promising startups qualify themselves for the pole position.
This is where things get exciting. As potential suppliers, startups work together with Daimler AG to launch a shared pilot project in 100 days. This is how innovation comes to life!
The process ends on the final Expo Day. Twice a year, the promising startups present their forward-looking pilot projects, which focus on a comprehensive area: the future of mobility and production. This event is attended by a varied audience of people from the Daimler world and other industrial companies, as well as numerous investors, researchers, and developers. The overarching goal is to invest in the selected startup concepts or to begin a technological cooperation with them.
Impressions of the STARTUP AUTOBAHN Expo Day 2017 in Stuttgart
We invented the automobile 132 years ago — and today we’re aiming to once again rethink and shape the future of mobility. Our joint establishment of the innovation platform STARTUP AUTOBAHN shows that we’re serious about open innovation, we are bringing the startups’ spirit and speed together with comprehensive automotive expertise, we’re learning from one another, and we’re opening up a new chapter of our innovation culture.
Our conviction that we are combining the best of both worlds is proving to be popular. Innovative and creative startups are coming together with experienced specialist experts from established industrial companies. Ever since it was founded in 2016, the STARTUP AUTOBAHN platform has been steadily growing.
Many partners from various industries are now on board. The partners who were there from the very start are Daimler AG, the University of Stuttgart, ARENA 2036, and the US accelerator Plug & Play. The search field within the startup sector is continuously expanding, and a wide range of funding for innovation makes it possible to use the technologies of other industrial sectors for the mobility sector as well. Other areas that are represented include the technology and IT sector, the chemical industry, and the logistics sector.
The STARTUP AUTOBAHN is establishing itself at the global level, and its international network is growing. Two starting locations have already been established by Daimler in China and Singapore. In South Africa and the USA (MBUSI), the STARTUP AUTOBAHN is supporting local scouting for startups and holding regular Startup Challenge events. In this way, Daimler is making it possible to scout for startups at the global level on various platforms.
Impressions of the STARTUP AUTOBAHN Expo Day in Beijing
Reaching the goal through collaboration
Integration and investment in our future-oriented projects are the primary goals of every individual round. Of great importance for us is the successful cooperation of our departments together with the startup what3words and the jointly developed 3-word address system. In the spring of 2018, the new A Class became the first representative of the next generation of the compact class to have the new infotainment system Mercedes-Benz User Experience as standard equipment.