Founder-spirit in Stuttgart: startups from seven countries made a pitch to get into the programme of STARTUP AUTOBAHN

Jul 15, 2016
  • Rousing pitches, the spirit of Silicon Valley and enthralled spectators: 22 out of the around 300 interested startups made their pitches yesterday for the spots on the STARTUP AUTOBAHN accelerator programme
  • The following startups are in the running: Otonomo, Noveto, blickshift, Gauzy, n-join, TruckPad, CarJump, Evopark, Vayyar, Hopon, Argus, 4tiitoo und Canatu    
  • STARTUP AUTOBAHN is a joint project run by Daimler AG, Plug and Play, the University of Stuttgart and ARENA2036 

Stuttgart. Out of the 300 interested startups, 22 pitched for the spots in the accelerator programme of STARTUP AUTOBAHN yesterday. For this they presented their ideas for shaping the future of mobility. Their pioneering ideas likewise covered a broad spectrum of topics, from the use of artificial intelligence to the vital data measurement, flexible touch screens, mobile transport management systems, intelligent smart glass or personalized sound systems. "We are delighted at the enormous interest of the startups have shown in STARTUP AUTOBAHN. Unfortunately, just having a good idea isn't enough to guarantee success, so we seek to offer the entrepreneurs the setting they need to focus entirely on their goal: power ahead with their business idea. They should have the courage and freedom to completely rethink the future of mobility - very much in line with the spirit of our startup pioneers, Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler," comments Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG & Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. 

Wolfram Ressel, Vice-Chancellor of Stuttgart University, was also excited about the dynamic character and professionalism of the startups’ presentations: "Yesterday, on the first STARTUP AUTOBAHN Selection Day, we experienced a thrilling firework of creative startup ideas. I am delighted that this captivating spirit of entrepreneurship will, through our “Industry on Campus” project, in the future also feed into the research and teachings at the University of Stuttgart. It will instil exceptionally qualified young scientists from our university with a passion for shaping their own entrepreneurial future." 

After Selection Day comes Expo Day 

Starting in September, the selected startups will embark on the accelerator programme, a special three-month coaching scheme during which they will be prepared for the Expo Day in fully equipped workspaces and with the support of mentors. "The pitches and the entrepreneurial spirit here are on a par with anything you'll find in Silicon Valley. The programme thrives on its network, its partnerships and the startups themselves, of course – all this comes together to perfection here in Stuttgart. We can hardly wait to work together with these enthusiastic business founders over the next few months, and are obviously also greatly looking forward to the new applications for the next edition of the programme," enthuses Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug & Play Tech Center. The Expo Day, planned for January, gives the startups the opportunity to pitch their refined ideas to investors. 


STARTUP AUTOBAHN is a joint project run by Daimler AG, the Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play, the University of Stuttgart and ARENA2036. Startups from all over the world are invited to apply for the accelerator programme focusing on the topic of the future of mobility. The application phase has already gotten underway for the second edition of the programme, which starts in March 2017. The entrepreneurs on the STARTUP AUTOBAHN scheme furthermore have the possibility of carrying on the three-month programme in Silicon Valley, California. 

Following completion of the high-tech ARENA2036 research campus in January 2017, the startups will be provided with workstations in the new ARENA building. The name "ARENA2036" stands for "Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles". The aim is to implement the defined targets at the ARENA2036 research campus by the year 2036 – the 150th anniversary of the automobile – thus paving the way for the automotive engineering of the future.

The initiators of STARTUP AUTOBAHN: (left) Prof. Wolfram Ressel, Vice-Chancellor Stuttgart University, Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, 
Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, 
Saeed Amidi, CEO Plug & Play Tech Center, Peter Fröschle, Director ARENA2036
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars opened the first Selection Day of STARTUP AUTOBAHN.