Volkswagen's incubator programme: six innovative mobility start-ups move into Die Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden
- Experts in charging and battery technology, traffic sensors, automated driving, and mobility insurance selected
- From innovative idea to market readiness in 200 days
- Spring programme set to get underway in March 2018
Volkswagen supports innovative business ideas for future mobility. Six young founder teams have recently been selected for the manufacturer's "Future Mobility Incubator" start-up scheme. The winners were drawn at the international trade fair for semiconductor products, SEMICON EUROPE, in Munich, and in Die Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden. The start-ups are ChargeX, keysurance, EcoG (all from Munich), S O Nah from Aachen, Embotech from Zurich, and Novum from Dresden, all of whom won their places following two rounds of pitching. They will begin work in Die Gläserne Manufaktur in March/April 2018, where they will have the opportunity to develop their ideas to market readiness with the support of Volkswagen and the City of Dresden's business development team.
Twenty international teams presented their innovative ideas for future mobility, with six of them winning over the eight-strong panel of experts with their two start-up pitches. The winners include experts in charging solutions for electric vehicles, automated driving, battery technology, vehicle navigation and a digital platform for car insurance. The concrete plans of the six start-ups:
ChargeX from Munich: this start-up is developing a new kind of charging infrastructure for the private and semi-public sector. Its modular system can extend plug-and-play to create additional charging points, and it also features intelligent charging control. The core of the idea is a load management system designed to significantly reduce the cost per charging point and the effort required for installation.
Keysurance from Munich: this start-up's digital platform provides a way of gathering driving experience from car sharing, company cars and car rental services – especially for young drivers – and to offset these against car insurance, helping users to save money on their car insurance payments. Keysurance aims to provide the foundation for smart, on-demand insurance.
S O Nah from Aachen: this start-up develops optical sensors related to mobility. The idea is to help prevent parking problems and to reduce the amount of power consumed by street lighting.
Novum from Dresden: these young entrepreneurs are developing a mobile automated battery laboratory. Artificial intelligence can be used to maximise the range and service life of batteries.
Embotech from Zurich: this start-up is developing software for automated driving. The aim is to use specialised algorithms to enable vehicles to manoeuvre safely. The idea is to drive vehicles automatically from the assembly hall in the factory to the logistics area while reacting to moving obstacles along the way.
EcoG from Munich: this start-up is developing an IoT operating system for the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The software, which is called EcoG, connects the user, the vehicle and the infrastructure to businesses and services in order to create value-added services. EcoG was recently announced as a Techstars Mobility Accelerator in Detroit (USA).
"We were very impressed by the wide range of ideas in relation to new mobility solutions. The young founders are coming up with innovative concepts – from March onwards, our experts will help them to develop their ideas to market readiness," explains Marco Weiß, Head of New Mobility & Innovation at Die Gläserne Manufaktur, and Jannis Sutor from Volkswagen Group IT's Ideation:Hub.
About the programme: the incubator programme is aimed at students and researchers interested in establishing new projects. As part of the programme, each team receives financial support totalling €15,000. During the incubator programme, Die Gläserne Manufaktur provides support from coaches and experts from the SpinLab (the HHL Accelerator scheme run by the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management); an attractive working environment in the factory; IT infrastructure; contact with researchers, developers and decision-makers at Volkswagen; professional advice from the Development Bank of Saxony; project management; proximity to the start-up scene along with financial and personal support from the state capital Dresden, for example in relation to housing.