Techstars Mobility Kicks Off Second Year of Accelerator Program in Detroit

I’m excited to announce that we’ve opened applications for the 2016 class of Techstars Mobility. You can apply online by going to Applications are open through March 20.

Click here to watch this video for a great overview of the program.

Live from CES 2016

To kickoff the 2016 program, I’m at CES and it’s pretty clear the entire industry is talking about the future of mobility and connected car solutions. Techstars Mobility’s title sponsor, Ford, kicked off CES yesterday with a keynote from CEO, Mark Fields.

“In 2016 Ford will become a mobility company, not just an auto manufacturer” said CEO Mark Fields. Fields pointed to Techstars Mobility as a key part of their strategy.


For full coverage on all of Ford’s other mobility announcements check out  this article on CNET. You can also check out the full Ford press release announced Techstars Mobility 2016 here.

What is Techstars Mobility?

Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit, focuses on the rapidly changing mobility and transportation industry. We’ve partnered with 8 leading mobility corporations including Ford, Verizon, Magna, Dana, Honda, McDonald’s, Munich Re and Michelin.

We look for software, hardware, and advanced materials businesses across all stages of development — pre-seed, seed, Series A and later. Because of the 8 corporate partnerships, no startup is “too far along” to see a huge benefit from participation in the program.

We define mobility as technologies that power the efficient movement of people, goods and services across all modes of transportation. We look for startups that not only fit this thesis but also align across innovation themes including: connected car, trucking and multi-modal transportation solutions across connectivity, mobility, autonomy, customer experience, big data, safety and security.

Techstars is committed to operating this program in Detroit, operating at the intersection of Detroit’s automotive dominance and its entrepreneurial resurgence. 



2016 Program Key Dates

  • Jan 5 – Applications Open
  • Feb 16 – Early Application Deadline
  • Mar 11 – 13 – Early Application Interviews at SXSW
  • Mar 20 – Applications Close
  • May 3 – 4 – Final Interviews
  • May 8 – Notification of Selection
  • Jun 13 – Program Starts
  • Sep 8 – Demo day

2016 Recruiting Event Tour Dates

2016 Webinars


Meet Amy – Improving Mobility in Detroit

At Techstars Mobility, we’re in the midst of mentor madness with over 150+ mentors and corporate partners meeting our companies. And what better way to facilitate tons of meetings and follow up (and avoid the associated email ping-pong) than with Amy. Wait, you don’t know Amy? is an artificial intelligence driven personal assistant that schedules meetings for you. It’s not an app and there is nothing to install or download—users simply cc: Amy (the intelligent agent) and she works with your guest(s) over email to find an agreeable time + location based on your calendar avails and your preferences. She’ll then send the calendar invite to all parties. proves to not only be a slick use of AI (Amy quite often passes as human), but also solves this big problem and allows its users to be more productive—focusing time and energy on more important matters. Who wouldn’t want to be more efficient in their work day?

From first-hand experience, I can say that Amy has increased my productivity significantly. It allows me to be more mobile as I move from meeting to meeting and conference to conference, as I have a dedicated and seamless way to schedule follow up. She allows me to schedule meetings much faster and in calendar time blocks that help me optimize and control my own calendar. If you don’t prioritize your own life, someone else will.

We’re excited to be able to offer beta access (which is in quite high demand these days) to all 10 companies making up our first class of startups at Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit. For that, we owe thanks to Roger Ehrenberg, who serves as both an investor in and mentor to Techstars Mobility, for helping make this connection happen and giving first.

While we’re focused on technologies that address the movement of people, goods, and services, we see products such as serve as a nice complement to our everyday work—increasing our mobility and our productivity.

Techstars Mobility Welcomes New Partner, New Community Partners and Office Collaborators

I am excited to unveil a new partner of Techstars Mobility, our new office in Detroit, and a handful of great new local partners and office collaborators.

Techstars Mobility is focused on all technologies that address the movement of people, goods, and services. For this program, we have partnered with six leading mobility corporations including Ford Motor Company, Magna International, Verizon Telematics, Dana Holding Corporation, Honda R&D Americas, and McDonald’s.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 8.19.31 PMToday, I am excited to announce we are adding a seventh partner: Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. A member of Munich Re’s US organization, Munich Re America offers the financial strength and stability that comes with being part of the world’s preeminent insurance and reinsurance brand. Munich Re researches and communicates on emerging risks – such as the future of mobility –  that could have a significant impact on society, clients and employees.

Our three-month, mentorship driven program runs this summer in downtown Detroit. It’s a full contact startup experience that culminates with a Demo Day on September 10th at The Fillmore Theater.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 7.41.22 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 7.43.17 PMAnd what better location to host our program than at the beautiful Ford Field, in downtown Detroit. This is a one-of-a-kind building that is connected via an atrium to the stadium where the Detroit Lions play. This 10,000 sq ft office gives our companies in each class an unprecedented startup experience in Detroit at a world-class office and facility.

Techstars is on a mission to be a catalyst to drive the startup community in Detroit. For the mobility program, we’ve been working closely with Fontinalis Partners, pioneers in investing in next-generation mobility solutions to help make Detroit the future mobility hub of the world.

Today, I’m pleased to announce we’re adding two more local Detroit partners to help us continue on this mission to build the startup community across #OneDetroit.

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Automation Alley is a technology business association dedicated to growing the economy of Southeast Michigan. With over 1000 members, Automation Alley brings deep automotive and manufacturing expertise and mentors to support Techstars Mobility companies.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 7.45.31 PMThe Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX) is a programmatic partnership funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the New Economy Initiative. Techstars will be joining other partners including TechTown Detroit, Bizdom, Invest Detroit, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, the Henry Ford Innovation Institute, and NextEnergy. By joining this partnership, Techstars Mobility gains access to hiring talented associates and being part of a collaboration for empowering entrepreneurs in Detroit.

On top of that, Techstars Mobility and the Detroit Lions are leading the way to create a new startup hub in Detroit at Ford Field. To do that, Techstars has collaborated with two incredible companies that will be opening offices in Detroit, greatly enhancing the Techstars Mobility office, and offering their services across the region.

Oblong is the maker of Mezzanine, a collaborative Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 7.46.45 PMconference room solution for innovative workplaces. Its futuristic technology enables Techstars Mobility to host real-time immersive visual collaboration sessions in one of the most high tech offices in all of Detroit.

PivotDesk, a Techstars Boulder 2012 alum and sharing economy leader, connects businesses who are looking for office space with those who have excess space. At Techstars Mobility, we leverage PivotDesk to invite outsideScreen Shot 2015-06-08 at 7.46.50 PM companies to share our space during our off-program months. Please check PivotDesk later this summer to find out about space opportunities in our office.

We look forward to other high tech companies and startups joining us at Ford Field in the near future. We also can’t wait to show off our new office and host events around the region in 2015. We are proud to partner and work with such amazing organizations as we work towards our goal of making Detroit the future mobility hub of the world.

Announcing the First Class of Techstars Mobility, Driven by Detroit

Today, I’m excited to announce the first class of Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit. These 10 companies are excellent representatives of the future of mobility. They each demonstrate technologies addressing the movement of people, goods, and services.

To help us create a world-class mobility program, we’ve partnered with six global corporations with deep mobility expertise. These partners include Ford Motor Company, Magna International, Verizon Telematics, Dana Holding Corporation, Honda R&D Americas, and McDonald’s. Additionally, we have over 150 expert mentors and investors helping our first class of 10 startups.

For this inaugural program, we received applications from all over the world (every continent except Antarctica!) and were excited by the diversity of applications. We saw software, hardware and advanced materials businesses focusing on things like ride sharing, energy, safety, maintenance, logistics and trucking. The solutions being developed by this year’s class range from a ride-sharing app, to the AirBnB for car enthusiasts, to web browser technology that works without a data connection.

Here is our awesome Techstars Mobility class of 2015:


Ansik makes automotive service safer, quicker and more affordable for everyone.
CDL Warrior is a communication and productivity platform for the trucking industry that connects truck drivers to their supply chain partners and improves efficiency, visibility and compliance.
Classics & Exotics brings the “sharing economy” into the car enthusiast’s garage, allowing classic and exotic car enthusiasts to now offset their car ownership costs by renting their cars to pre-screened, highly qualified renters.
Cosmos Browser. Internet via SMS, no data or WiFi required.
Elegus Technologies, a spin-out from the University of Michigan, is commercializing battery separator technology that can enable safer, longer lasting batteries.
GearBrake is a universal, easy to install brake light module that can detect when your vehicle is slowing and automatically light the brake lights, reducing the risk of rear-end collisions by up to 90%.
Motoroso combines content, community, and commerce for automotive enthusiasts to help them discover, connect, and buy everything that powers their lifestyle.
My Dealer Service empowers automotive service departments with digital connectivity and workflow management, elevating efficiency and creating an unprecedented customer experience.
Splitting Fares — SPLT — is a social ridesharing app designed to connect people with similar routes, share the fare, save money, reduce traffic and emissions and change the way people meet and move in cities around the world.
WISE Systems provides real-time routing and analytics software to help on-demand delivery companies serve their customers more effectively.

McDonald’s, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. and Dana Holding Corporation Join as Partners in Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit

Today we’re excited to announce three new partners in Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit. McDonald’s, Honda R&D Americas, Inc., and Dana Holding Corporation will join existing partners Ford Motor Company, Magna International and Verizon Telematics to help 10 startup companies drive towards the future of mobility and transportation.

Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit, is a mentorship-driven technology accelerator that will create a Metro Detroit hub for transportation and mobility innovations in downtown Detroit. Its goal is to bring new technologies to market that address the future of movement of people, goods, and services. Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit will run for three years with a new class of 10 companies each year.

In addition to its proven accelerator model, Techstars is bringing its extensive network of mentors, founders and corporations to Detroit to help support the program. Each partner in Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit will also provide executive-level mentorship and support throughout the program and beyond.

To help make a positive impact on the community, Techstars is coordinating efforts across the Detroit entrepreneurial ecosystem. To date, over 200 mentors have signed up to support the incoming class of 10 companies. The response across southeast Michigan has been incredible, as Techstars joins in on the goal of turning Detroit into the future mobility hub of the world.

The ten companies selected for Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit, will be announced on June 4, 2015. The program kicks off June 9, 2015, and concludes with a Demo Day on September 10, 2015 at the Fillmore Theatre where each team will present to investors, industry leaders, and the community at large.

Click here to learn more about Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit.

Upcoming Webinars to Learn about Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit

Are you a connected car, next generation transportation, logistics or urban mobility startup? Are you curious about the rebirth of Detroit as it becomes the mobility hub of the world?

Then join one of these upcoming webinars to learn about Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit.

Ted Serbinski, Managing Director of Techstars Mobility, will be hosting these 45-min webinars and answering questions. He will cover what is Techstars, how your startup can benefit from being in a program like Techstars, the details of the mobility program running this summer, and answer any questions.

Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit runs this summer from June 9 through Sep 10th in downtown Detroit.

Applications for Techstars Mobility close March 15You can apply online by clicking here.