Building the Mobility World of Tomorrow: Techstars & Audi Denkwerkstatt Accelerator

Dec 01, 2022

The year is 2035. You hail an electrified robotaxi - now present in many urban centres. After entering the vehicle, you issue your consent, and the onboard AI checks your vitals, switches on your preferred ambient music, converts the windshield into a screen, and asks if you would like to have your 4 pm meeting in a virtual meeting room. Shortly after the vehicle hits the road, you hear the smooth voice of the AI “How about stopping off at your favourite café after your meeting?” It’s an effective way to lower your stress levels which are currently running a little high. You accept the suggestion, sit back and relax. Welcome to the mobility world of tomorrow. 

Audi Denkwerkstatt and Techstars Berlin are inviting exceptional founders in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to shape this new world of mobility together. According to BCG, 70% of the population will live in urban areas by 2050 including more than 40 “megacities”. This ever-increasing population density - combined with a need to eliminate ten gigatons in annual global CO2 emission equivalents from the mobility sector and changing consumer expectations driven by rapid technological advancements - is an urgent call to action. These are some of the key reasons why are seeking exceptional founders who are willing to shape the mobility world of tomorrow. This is your opportunity!

Starting in April 2023, the Techstars Berlin and Audi Denkwerkstatt Mobility program will support (pre-)seed startup teams to pave the way for a sustainable and connected world of mobility. One key focus of our new program is on creating subscription-based business models that leverage unused time while on the road. Another focus is on business models that capitalize on digitization key trends, such as connectivity, electrification, autonomous driving, and smart mobility.

We are looking for startups in these fields in particular:

In-car & out-of-car experience

The way (co-)drivers interact with, behave in, and own cars is changing. Turning user-vehicle interactions into meaningful and delightful personalized passenger experiences and seamlessly integrating novel ways for in-car activities such as entertainment, relaxation, and work are major business opportunities. Solutions may come from various areas, including car infotainment systems, metaverse, mobility-as-a-service, mobility-on-demand, or car-as-an-office.

Check out: holoride, Holograktor, SoundHound, WayRay, Zync, Portl MediaVugo, Audi Connect, Snappcar, Getaround

Charging experience

As electric vehicles are on the rise, the need for charging options on the road will become widespread. This comes with multiple opportunities, not least services that make the time spent before, during, and after charging more entertaining and productive on a personal level, and the development of technologies that make charging more scalable and effective. The latter could take the form of new EV battery technologies offering an increased range, mobile solar photovoltaic charging options, bi-directional charging in public and private places, vehicle-to-grid charging (V2G), algorithms that make charging more effective and reduce charging cycle durations, or the construction of a scalable electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Check out: AmpUp, Fermata Energy, Electrify America, Inbalance Grid, SWTCH, Volta, Ion Storage Systems, Northvolt, Pionix, Chargd

Physical and mental health experience

While there are already some tools available that can be used to take the physical and mental health mobility experience to the next level, the best is yet to come. The toolkit ranges from repurposing in-car slack time to physical and mental well-being activities to car accident prevention, driver fatigue and drowsiness detection, and road safety optimization.

Check out: Provizio, WingDriver, Affectiva, Tobii, Smart Eye, Vebits, Denso, Blickfeld - Vision Plus, B-Secur

Community experience

Humans are social beings that crave connections with those who share similar interests and lifestyles. There is a clear need for new approaches enriching the lives of vehicle users and catering to owners and those who want to become it by connecting them and offering meaningful content.

Check out: Polestar Club, Electric Car Community

Wild card

In the world of mobility, the horizon is infinite. We are open to ideas that go beyond the fields outlined and that are only loosely connected to mobility. A few examples include advanced driver assistance systems, simultaneous localization and mapping, traffic and fleet management, micromobility, e-hailing, vehicle-to-everything (V2X), intelligent parking solutions, smart mobility payment and insurance solutions. 

Check out: Curium, DeepScenario, Ottometric, Wayve, TERAKI, Fleetonomy, Carwyze, Vehiculum, Autotalks, DeepDrive

If your founding team has an idea that doesn’t quite fit into one of the categories above, please contact us anyway. While these areas excite us, you, as founders, are more important than these ideas. 

We are also seeking to invest in founders representing Europe at large. The European tech ecosystem continues to be underrepresented in terms of female founders, founders with a migratory background, and entrepreneurs above the age of 50. Audi and Techstars are committed to building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem and will coach and support diverse founding teams during the selection process.

Submit your application for the program here.