Major automakers are looking towards startups to gain a better understanding of the future of personal, connected and sustainable mobility and to come up with the necessary solutions.
BMW is no exception and for the purpose has formed BMW Startup Garage. It is a part of the company’s Research, New Technologies and Innovations unit, and has been tracking down the most innovative startups in the business for four years now.
It talks with over 1,500 startups from all over the world every year. If first impressions indicate that a particular startup innovation is of potential interest for the Group, it is examined in greater detail. Between 600 and 800 startups are assessed every year and a decision taken on their suitability for inclusion in the BMW Startup Garage’s programme. So far, more than 50 up-and-coming technology companies have completed its startup programme.
Instead of pursuing a venture capital approach, the group has opted for ‘venture client’ model. In their early days, many startups still don’t have a marketable product. It is precisely during this very high-risk phase that the fledgling companies are commissioned by the BMW Startup Garage, hence the term ‘venture client’.
The programme’s core aim is to develop a working prototype as part of a pilot project. The BMW Group reaps the benefits of early access to the innovations and the opportunity to customize the technology before it is launch-ready.
The startups, meanwhile, gain valuable insights into automotive processes, are able to build up a network of contacts within the company and are given advice on how to refine their business plan to help them gain a foothold in the automotive industry.
Source: Press Release