Innovation platform around Daimler attracts new partners

February 15, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Startup Autobahn, a platform for the promotion of innovation and young entrepreneurs, has gained five new industrial partners: Sports car manufacturer Porsche, tier one supplier ZF Friedrichshafen, chemical company BASF, computer giant Hewlett-Packard and electronic component manufacturer Murata have joined the project.

At an "Expo Day" this week, 13 hand-selected startup companies the entrepreneurs presented their innovative ideas centred on the key topics Mobility and Industry 4.0 to the business public. By taking part in a three-month coaching and mentoring program, as part of pilot projects with Daimler, the selected startups were able to considerably advance their companies. Initially, about 300 companies applied for participating in the program. The selected few are now entitled to use for three months all facilities of a high-tech factory called ARENA2036 at the campus of the Stuttgart University.

The entrepreneurs from all over the world used the opportunity at the Expo Day to show their company in the best light to an international audience which included investors and potential partners. Features presented included transparent and flexible multi-touch surfaces (Canatu) plus solution approaches for RFID-supported parking in multi-storey car parks (Evopark) and steering tones and sound via special loudspeakers directly to the ears of the desired listener (Noveto). The intensive cooperation between the startups and the Startup Autobahn team is opening doors for further joint activities. So it is possible that long-term collaborations with Daimler and with other investors or industry partners may come about at the end of the programme.

Daimler initiated the platform in May 2016 as an open innovation and cooperation platform for startups and existing companies from the relevant. It addresses both international and local startups and partner companies. The founding members of the initiative alongside Daimler AG are the US partner Plug and Play Tech Center in its role as startup accelerator and investor, the University of Stuttgart and the research factory ARENA2036. One of the aims of the project is to create an attractive startup ecosystem by pooling innovative partner expertise.