February 14, 2017

STARTUP AUTOBAHN EXPO Day: 800 attendees, 13 startups, 13 demo stations!

The STARTUP AUTOBAHN EXPO Day on February 9th showcased the 13 startups of Program 1 and their results of 100 days working with Daimler on pilot projects:4tiitoo,Argus,Blickshift,Canatu,evopark, Free2Move,Gauzy,HopOn,n-Join,Noveto,otonomo,TruckPadand Vayyar.

Founded in May 2016, the innovation platform STARTUP AUTOBAHN connects established companies and startups and runs two three-month programs per year each followed by an EXPO Day. Startups participating in the program are so-called “hard-tech startups”: the new builders of mobility at the intersection of hardware and software. The program is stage-agnostic and designed to accelerate early-to-late stage startups by providing all the support startups need to realize their vision faster. Space, tools, people, resources etc.

The EXPO Day completing Program 1 on February 9th at ARENA2036 on the campus of the University of Stuttgart was a big day for the 13 startups 4tiitoo,Argus,Blickshift,Canatu,evopark, Free2Move,Gauzy,HopOn,n-Join,Noveto,otonomo,TruckPadand Vayyar. The entrepreneurs presented their startups and their pilot projects with Daimler AG centered on the key topics of mobility and industry 4.0 in front of more than 800 people, amongst them distinguished guests such as Ola Källenius (Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG ), Dr. Michael Steiner (Board Member Research and Development Porsche AG), Olaf Koch (Chairman of the Management Board METRO GROUP), Saeed Amidi (CEO Plug and Play Tech Center), Carsten Becker (VP Global Manufacturing and Distribution Industries EMEA Hewlett Packard Enterprise), Carsten Maschmeyer (German investor, jury member of the German version of the TV-show “Shark Tank” called “Höhle der Löwen”), and Wolfgang Tiefensee (State Minister of Economy & Science Thuringia). Keynote speakers were: Ola Källenius (Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG ), Fritz Kuhn (Mayor of the City of Stuttgart), and Saeed Amidi (CEO Plug and Play Tech Center).

From multi-touch surfaces to RFID-supported reservation and parking app

The 13 startups from Israel, Brazil, Finland, and Germany presented their companies in the best light to an international audience, to numerous investors and potential partners. Presented features included transparent and flexible multi-touch surfaces (Canatu), solution approaches for RFID-supported parking in multistorey car parks (evopark), steering tones and sound via special loudspeakers directly to the ears of the desired listener (Noveto) and eye tracking software for driver assistant systems and automatic driving cars (Blickshift). The intense cooperation between the startups and the STARTUP AUTOBAHN partners is opening doors for further joint activities such as future pilot projects and investment. Furthermore, the alumni startups are welcome to apply for the Plug and Play Mobility Programin Silicon Valley getting access to free office space, potential clients, partners, investors etc.

The founding members are delighted to welcome new partners

STARTUP AUTOBAHN was founded by Plug and Play, Daimler, University of Stuttgart, and ARENA2036. New founding anchor partners are Hewlett Packard Enterprise, BASF, Porsche and ZF Friedrichshafen. Murata will contribute from now on as Ecosystem Partner to the innovation platform. The founding partners, represented by Anke Kleinschmit (Vice President Group Research and Sustainability Daimler AG), Susanne Hahn (Head of Business Innovation Daimler AG), Peter Froeschle (Chairman ARENA 2036), Candace Widdoes (COO Plug and Play)and Prof. Wolfram Ressel (Director University Stuttgart)welcomed the new partners on stage after a fireside chat reflecting program 1.STARTUP AUTOBAHN is open for further corporate partners as well believing in open doors, disruptive thinking, and the sharing of ideas, technology, and connections to help startups thrive faster.

Selection Day and Program 2

Building on the positive experiences of the first program, Selection Day for Program 2 took place on February 10th. 36 Startups pitched in front of 250 invited guests representing the STARTUP AUTOBAHN corporate partners. Eventually 28 startups were selected to participate in Program 2 starting mid of March.

STARTUP AUTOBAHN Program 2 will start on March 13th, 2017 and will conclude with the EXPO Day taking place in July 2017. The startups will have the opportunity to use office space in the brand new ARENA2036 building at the campus of University of Stuttgart. Program 2 will be divided into two tracks:

Acceleration Lane
Acceleration Lane is the acceleration program for early stage startups that need mentoring and coaching as well as seed funding (Venture Capital) and coworking space.

Pilot Lane
Pilot Lane is the program for later-stage, international startups with the primary goal to conduct pilot projects with the STARTUP AUTOBAHN corporate partners (Venture Clients). Startups are present once a month for so-called focus weeks, packed with VIP-Mentorings, Pilot-Partner meetings and technical discussions.