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Daimler: Largest European innovation platform brings the best mobility startups to the automotive hub of Stuttgart

Within only one year, STARTUP AUTOBAHN has become the biggest innovation platform in Europe. After 100 days of working on over 50 pilot projects, 28 startups from all over the world and 9 leading industry players showcase their successes at the EXPO Day of STARTUP AUTOBAHN’s second program on July 25th, 2017. More startups and … Continued

Within only one year, STARTUP AUTOBAHN has become the biggest innovation platform in Europe. After 100 days of working on over 50 pilot projects, 28 startups from all over the world and 9 leading industry players showcase their successes at the EXPO Day of STARTUP AUTOBAHN’s second program on July 25th, 2017.

More startups and more partners join the biggest innovation platform in Europe

Since its launch in July 2016, by the founding partners Plug & Play, Daimler AG, the University of Stuttgart and ARENA2036, more partners have joined the expanding innovation platform. With Anchor Partners such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise/DXC Technology, Porsche, BASF, ZF Friedrichshafen and Deutsche Post DHL Group. Further, the Ecosystem Partners, who have joined are Murata, HELLA, and BENTELER, STARTUP AUTOBAHN is driving the future of mobility, production, and adjacent themes. Starting off with 13 startups in Program 1, STARTUP AUTOBAHN has opened up the second three-month program to 28 startups from France, Israel, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Finland, UK, and USA: Bernstein, BlueInductive, BigChainDB, DearReality, Fibres, Fluid Logistics, GuardKnox, HoloLight, IDEAFOX, innoviz, iNDTact, jetlite, Kreatize, Memobase, micropsi, physiosense, ProductiveMobile, Pomp, Quantoz, Re’flekt, Relimetrics, R3Communications, Renumics, siOPTICA, SUSI&James, TwentyBN, Truphysics and What3Words.

STARTUP AUTOBAHN brings EXPO Day to the next level

On July 25th, 2017, an international audience of 800+ attendees had the chance to gain deep insights into newest innovative technologies and to network with executives from various corporations, venture capitalists, investors, startups, universities, government representatives, mentors and press. On this second STARTUP AUTOBAHN EXPO Day, the 28 startups of Program 2 exclusively showcased their results of working 100 days with 9 leading industry players, while they pitched their ideas and pilots in front of the audience. Saeed Amidi, CEO and Founder of Plug and Play Tech Center, welcomed the guests and announced Daimler AG as the most innovative Mobility Corporation of all 200+ corporate partners of Plug and Play Tech Center worldwide. Keynote speakers at the EXPO Day included leading industry experts Anke Kleinschmit, VP Group Research & Sustainability at Daimler AG, Sabine Scheunert, VP Digital & IT Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales at Daimler AG, as well as Thilo Koslowski, CEO of Porsche Digital. Sarah Harman guided through the program.

STARTUP AUTOBAHN Program 3 is picking up speed

A total of 41 startups graduated from the innovation platform so far and many success stories have been written. More startups with great technologies and ideas thriving to become the next unicorns. Keeping momentum, STARTUP AUTOBAHN has it’s foot on the throttle and program 3 will start in September with new partners on board. With the combined strength of now 9 corporate partners, STARTUP AUTOBAHN offers the worldwide best startups an opportunity to validate their technology on a neutral platform, moderated by Plug & Play within a three-month program. The focus of program 3 includes e-mobility, human-machine interface, supply chain logistics as well related themes dictated by the corporate partners. STARTUP AUTOBAHN is looking forward to welcome around 30+ startups in Program 3, who will be announced soon.

The founding members are delighted to welcome new partners

STARTUP AUTOBAHN was founded by Plug & Play, Daimler, University of Stuttgart, and ARENA2036. New founding anchor partners are Hewlett Packard Enterprise/DXC Technology, BASF, Porsche, ZF Friedrichshafen and Deutsche Post DHL Group. Murata, BENTELER and HELLA contribute as Ecosystem Partners to the innovation platform. 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 and corporates thrive faster.

Further information about STARTUP AUTOBAHN is available online:


STARTUP AUTOBAHN is a neutral innovation platform moderating an in-depth and curated collaboration between core partners from industry, Investment firms and mentors to help the growth of startup companies. STARTUP AUTOBAHN runs two three-month programs per year each followed by an EXPO Day. The program is stage-agnostic with a later-stage focus, designed to accelerate startups. STARTUP AUTOBAHN is providing all the support startups need to realize their vision faster: Space, tools, people, resources and access to a valuable network of corporations, investors, mentors, universities and government representatives. Plug & Play, the Silicon Valley accelerator and investor, is facilitating this joint project together with Plug and Play Germany GmbH, Daimler AG, ARENA2036, University of Stuttgart, Hewlett Packard Enterprise/DXC Technology, ZF Friedrichshafen, BASF, Porsche, and Deutsche Post DHL Group. Along with the ecosystem partners like Murata, HELLA, as well as, BENTELER. Startups from all over the world are invited to submit their applications for the accelerator program on the future of mobility and Industry 4.0.


Following Singapore, China will soon be starting
Successful ecosystem is first choice for talents
Exciting projects relating to the future of mobility
Stuttgart. STARTUP AUTOBAHN, the innovation and cooperation platform between established companies and startups, will soon be kicking off with its partners Daimler and Plug & Play in China. At the Chinese EXPO Day in November the candidates selected in July will present their results from the 100-day sprint. The focus here is on specific technologies and business models for the Chinese market.

STARTUP AUTOBAHN was rolled out internationally in Singapore last year. That was also where the second programme in cooperation with Plug & Play and the National University of Singapore started in June. The four-month programme is focussing on topics associated with Marketing, Sales, and Retail.

The EXPO Day in July was at the premises of the research factory, ARENA2036, and demonstrated just how important STARTUP AUTOBAHN currently is, as the most comprehensive mobility programme in Europe for startups and young entrepreneurs. The EXPO Day had 28 startups present the results of their 100-day sprint. Anke Kleinschmit, Head of Group Research & Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer, Daimler AG: “The partners tackled more than 50 projects between them. And as a founding member I am delighted that the new ecosystem has become established so successfully. This gives us encouragement for the future.” The range of projects extends from Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence to the management of the value chain from design through to the supplier. The entrepreneurs from Europe, the USA, and Israel also focus on such areas as payment systems in the blockchain and sensitive robot control.

Porsche is banking on innovation

Porsche successfully completes 14 pilot projects with startups
The focus is on artificial intelligence, cyber security and blockchain
Porsche is investing to increase its innovation power and accelerate the digital transformation: During Porsche’s first phase of conducting pilot projects with founders in the context of STARTUP AUTOBAHN program, the sports car manufacturer has successfully completed 14 projects.

STARTUP AUTOBAHN is a continuation of the innovation campaign at Porsche. “The contest thrives upon fantastic ideas, its network and the partnerships. We bring together ground-breaking technologies and innovative business models. The pilot projects give rise to prototypes for use in specific applications. The goal of our campaign is to develop Porsche into a leading provider of digital mobility solutions in the premium automotive segment”, says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche.

One example out of the 14 prototypes is the project with Susi & James. The startup has developed a digital personal assistant that combines human experts and a chatbot via artificial intelligence. Porsche and Susi & James now have created a speaking user manual.

“We are broadening our horizons and working on building an ecosystem with suitable partners. STARTUP AUTOBAHN is an ideal platform in this regard. And it gives us a way to bring innovation to our company and turn the entrepreneurial spirit into a tangible reality for all employees,” says Patrick Kück, Director Strategy and Innovation at Porsche.

Chemistry as enabler for future mobility

BASF works with digital start-ups with visionary ideas for the mobility industry
As the leading chemical supplier to the automotive industry, BASF is a strong innovation partner and enabler for the mobility solutions of tomorrow. As an example, BASF’s plastics experts contribute their material competence and processing know-how to a pilot project with startup KREATIZE. Its digital platform facilitates the direct exchange between Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and supplier. Carmakers can upload CAD files of their automotive parts onto the platform. Thanks to a matching algorithm they can find the best possible material and production process for it, order right away, and pay directly online.

“We believe that big ideas start small. That’s why we work with young entrepreneurs who have the potential to change the future of mobility and production,” said Jürgen Becky, Senior Vice President Performance Materials at BASF. “In addition, we are eager to foster the entrepreneurial spirit within BASF and thus strengthen our own innovation power and competitiveness.”

Deutsche Post DHL Group: Driving the future of mobility

Global mail and logistics leader looking to support ‘ the next StreetScooter’
Deutsche Post DHL Group to offer expertise and pilots to STARTUP AUTOBAHN prospects Bullet point
With a global transportation network covering more than 220 countries and territories, Deutsche Post DHL Group has a proven track record in delivering innovative solutions for its customers across the supply chain. The company is ideally positioned to help STARTUP AUTOBAHN participants explore how their innovative technologies and solutions can be practically applied within the global supply chain. As an operator of one of the largest commercial vehicle fleets worldwide, it is also keen to share its significant operational and technical expertise with innovators looking to disrupt and shape the future of mobility.

Andreas Muendel, Vice President Corporate Development and Director Research and Innovation GmbH, Deutsche Post DHL Group said “Deutsche Post DHL Group will bring a distinct, complementary set of capabilities and opportunities to the STARTUP AUTOBAHN ecosystem. We are looking forward to networking and collaborating with the high caliber partners and prospects at the STARTUP AUTOBAHN EXPO Day. Having developed our own groundbreaking innovation in e-mobility – the StreetScooter electric delivery vehicle – we are eager to support the development of other solutions that could revolutionize the fields of mobility and supply chain management.”

BENTELER joins STARTUP AUTOBAHN to further foster its innovation culture

Collaboration in STARTUP AUTOBAHN is a way for BENTELER to secure ongoing innovations capability for the future, to ensure it continues to provide the most innovative solutions for its customers.
BENTELER joins the STARTUP AUTOBAHN program to facilitate and strengthen its own culture of innovation. “We are constantly working on innovative improvements for our customers. The partnership with Plug & Play will accelerate the development of our innovation culture within BENTELER to create sustainable value for our customers,” says Laurent Favre, CEO BENTELER Automotive.

“Electrification and digitalization are significantly changing the automotive industry. Through collaboration with international startups, BENTELER will benefit from external ideas and impulses thus accelerating our progress in these future fields,” explains Oliver Lang, CTO BENTELER Automotive. BENTELER offers startups the background of a globally operating company. “We have long-term development goals, comprehensive production experience and are established on the market. Ideal conditions to test and further develop new ideas. In turn, we save time and money because we do not have to implement all the development steps ourselves.”

The University of Stuttgart champions the spirit of entrepreneurship

The University of Stuttgart is a strong partner for startups
The founders of Startup Autobahn inspire students to innovate
Research, innovation and entrepreneurship have found an ideal home at the ARENA2036 research facility on campus at the University of Stuttgart. EXPO Day, run by the innovation and cooperation platform STARTUP AUTOBAHN for established companies and start-ups from science and industry, provides a focal point for collaboration and creativity.

The University of Stuttgart inspires its students in the field of science from the very beginning of their studies by means of research-led teaching and learning, providing the framework for high-quality professional and holistic study programmes. The University of Stuttgart also places great importance on the ability of its graduates to make a creative contribution to scientific, business and social innovations once they enter the world of employment. It is therefore beneficial for the university to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship, as is strikingly and thrillingly evident at EXPO Day, and to motivate young people to boldly forge their own path. The collaboration between startups and the university is a win-win situation: the institutes are strong research partners for the startups and the young entrepreneurs help to develop a culture of entrepreneurship at the university.

ARENA2036 as environment for disruptive innovations

Startups are an important part of the ARENA2036 network
STARTUP AUTOBAHN establishes itself as a major innovation platform
The EXPO Day is the great finish of the intensive 100-day program of STARTUP AUTOBAHN. For the second time, startups developed their ideas and technologies in the ARENA2036 research environment and now they presented them to an audience from all over the world. ARENA2036 is an innovative cooperation platform with its own research building where startups can use coworking space and a hardware lab during their time at STARTUP AUTOBAHN. “In the research factory, startups come together with specialists from a wide range of companies and scientific institutions.

The startups are integrated into a network of excellent experts from the outset, through this creative and interdisciplinary research and development environment,” said Peter Froeschle, chairman ARENA2036 e.V. ARENA2036 is the research factory on the campus of the University of Stuttgart for the hardware based knowledge for future automobile production. Here, experts from science and industry have the opportunity to get together, to explore disruptive project ideas and to create the future mobility. By this ARENA2036 is the initiator of sustainable automotive engineering and automobile production for the next generation of vehicles.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

HPE partners with STARTUP AUTOBAHN to help customers create competitive advantage
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has its roots in the famous garage in Palo Alto where Bill Hewlett and David Packard founded their first company, and which is considered to the birthplace of the Silicon Valley. HPE is a technology company that enables customers to thrive in their digital transformation, with a portfolio spanning the cloud to the data center to the network edge, delivered through a global services organization.

Every industry is today challenged by digital disruption, and companies need to adopt emerging digital technologies to maintain and enforce their competitive advantage. With STARTUP AUTOBAHN, HPE gets early access to promising technologies and business models which in can incorporate into customer solutions. Startups, in turn, get access to a strong foundation of consulting, sales and technology capabilities which help them establish and grow their business models. Current collaborations within STARTUP AUTOBAHN include startups like TruPhysics, Relimetrics, and R3 Communications.

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