As Baden-Württemberg’s answer to California’s Silicon Valley, Daimler is establishing STARTUP AUTOBAHN, the new startup ecosystem in Stuttgart. “In contrast to Silicon Valley with its software focus, with STARTUP AUTOBAHN both software and, above all, hardware-oriented projects are to be in the foreground. We are warmly welcoming international as well as local startups”, says Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Whether it’s the USA, China, India or Germany – for a long time now we have been focussing the strengths of various world regions with our global research and development network. But our roots are and remain here in the strong industrial region of Baden-Württemberg. Therefore this region must retain and continue to strengthen its huge appeal for innovation and inventive spirit in future, too.” To this end further local firms and medium-sized businesses will be able to join the STARTUP AUTOBAHN project in the future.

“We are charting new territory and will continue to further our innovative culture through the additional impulses from the startup scene. The fast and uncomplicated cooperation with top talents from the startup scene will open up a further way for us to use the chances digitisation offers”, says Wilfried Porth, Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources and Director of Labor Relations, IT & Mercedes-Benz Vans at Daimler AG.

STARTUP AUTOBAHN – full speed ahead in Stuttgart
“Stuttgart is one of the world’s leading automotive and high-tech regions and thus offers the ideal prerequisites for startups”, says Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play Tech Center. “Together with our strong partners Daimler, the University of Stuttgart and ARENA2036, startups, local companies and venture capitalists have optimum opportunities to find each other here at STARTUP AUTOBAHN.” Through the cooperation with Plug and Play, STARTUP AUTOBAHN is highly networked with the German startup community in places all over the world, such as Silicon Valley and Berlin.

Startups from all over the globe are invited to apply with immediate effect for the STARTUP AUTOBAHN accelerator scheme. Following the application phase around 25 startups will be invited to the Selection Day on July 14, 2016. The winners will be accepted onto the accelerator scheme, in which they will be prepared for the Expo-Day for three to six months within the framework of special coaching and with support from mentors. As part of the STARTUP AUTOBAHN’s accelerator scheme, the Coworking Space and Hardware Lab will be at the startups’ disposal in the ARENA2036 research factory. At the Expo-Day the pioneers might get the chance of their life: this is where they will be pitching to investors, in order to be able to develop their ideas.

Hardware Lab for innovations without borders
The Hardware Lab in ARENA2036 is a large high-tech workshop (approx. 1500 m2), containing equipment such as tools, machines, 3D printers and software for building prototypes and small series production. In addition to this, the aim is to accelerate the development process with supporting services such as legal and tax advice, professional help with financial planning and project management. Straightforward networking with partners from business, research and politics, plus contact with investors, potential customers and mentors will also be among the services offered to the startups.

About Plug and Play Tech Center
The Plug and Play Tech Center has over 20 locations in Silicon Valley, Germany, Spain, Singapore, China and Brazil, making it one of the biggest and most experienced accelerator operators. Having looked after more than 2000 startups since it was founded ten years ago, Plug and Play has grown with a technical focus and venture capitals to become the world’s largest global accelerator. Plug and Play organises over 365 events all over the world every year in order to network startups and investors and operates also as an investor.

About ARENA2036
The highly technologised ARENA2036 with its area of 10,000 m2 as a research campus is a new form of cooperation in which renowned partners from science and industry research innovative subject areas related to automotive production of the future under the same roof as the startups. A unique high-tech centre is being created in the heart of the economic region of Baden-Württemberg. The name “ARENA2036” stands for “Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles”. By the year 2036, the 150th anniversary of the car, the stated aims are to be implemented at the ARENA2036 research campus, thus paving the way for the automotive engineering of the future.

Source: Daimler AG