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BMW Group taps into global brainpower through BMW Startup Garage

Zafar Anjum | April 9, 2015
The automobile giant reaches out to innovative startups through this new initiative

German automobile company BMW has founded BMW Startup Garage that aims to 'tap directly into the potential of particularly innovative startups'.

According to the company's statement, the BMW Group started the Garage to make it easy for startups to present their ideas to the company. With its slimmed-down, efficient processes, the BMW Startup Garage now allows for swift and flexible collaborative projects, it said.

One team headed by innovation managers Gregor Gimmy and Matthias Meyer has just come on board the BMW Startup Garage, the company said in its press statement.

Tapping into global brain power

In principle, any startup anywhere in the world can apply.

The process for this is simple: any interested startup company can apply online to the BMW Startup Garage. The selection is then made directly via the BMW Startup Garage in close consultation with the innovation management team and the relevant departments of the BMW Group.

Selected startups subsequently undergo a special programme lasting several months. Startups also receive assistance in building up their network within the Group and in drawing up a business plan.

BMW said the scheme is not restricted to companies in the automotive sector, but extends to technologies that can be transferred to automotive engineering applications. However, applicants must meet a number of requirements.

"We're looking for good startups and not good inventors," explains Matthias Meyer. "Anyone thinking of applying needs to bring along not just a great idea but a great team as well. After all, only a top-flight team can make ideas work successfully."

Besides the BMW Startup Garage, the venture capital company BMW i Ventures also fosters the exchange with young enterprises developing innovative solutions for urban mobility. The group has joined forces with the Centre for Innovation and Business Creation - UnternehmerTUM - at Munich's Technical University in order to set up the "TEchFounders" accelerator programme for technology startups. The Accelerator Programme introduces the BMW Group to innovative technologies, products and services at a very early stage, with the option of working together with the startup teams.


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