Give First Wherever You Go: One Founder’s Journey from Mexico to Detroit

René Pons, co-founder of PPAP Manager, has founded a company in Mexico, run Techstars Startup Weekends across Central America, and gotten into Techstars Detroit. Everywhere he goes, René Gives First and strengthens the startup ecosystem. 

The Techstars Detroit 2019 class

In early July, a week before Techstars Detroit kicked off, TechCrunch ran an exclusive article announcing the new class of 10 companies that are, right now, enmeshed in their three month accelerator program. The article noted that the program name and focus have changed, from Techstars Mobility to Techstars Detroit: “Mobility is baked into Detroit, but Detroit is more than mobility.” The Detroit startup ecosystem is strengthening and expanding, and becoming ever more appealing to startup founders from around the world. 

Techstars has believed in Detroit through the hard times—we announced the first Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator program in Detroit the same day the city came out of bankruptcy. Ever since, Techstars has been a part of building better times for the Comeback City, helping to grow the startup ecosystem, making connections that benefit corporations and startups alike, and attracting new companies to the region.

If you’re a startup that does business with automotive or manufacturing, you need to get to Detroit.

We’re beyond excited about every one of the 10 companies in the 2019 Techstars Detroit class, but one in particular has not just a great business, but a founder who lives the Techstars value #GiveFirst, and who has been a force for startup ecosystem building for years in his native Chihuahua, Mexico: René Pons, co-founder of PPAP Manager

Safety First

First, the company: PPAP Manager is a platform to streamline the approval of packets of documents required in the automotive industry, known as PPAP (Production Part Approval Process), to validate production parts. 

There are 30,000 parts in your car, and every one of them journeyed a long distance, often passing through several sets of hands, before your vehicle arrived, shiny and new, in a dealer’s showroom. The global journey of each one of those 30,000 parts is documented by a PPAP. 

PPAPs are crucial to safe car production because they are the quality assurance for its parts. Yet today, most PPAPs are handled using spreadsheets or google docs, solutions cobbled together by individuals at different companies. They’re not fast, they’re not efficient, and worst of all, they’re not trustworthy enough for such important information. 

PPAP Manager aims to solve this problem for the global automotive industry by providing a single tool that documents parts as they go through all the many suppliers in the value chain, making these records both accessible and accurate, so that you know that the brakes on your car won’t fail. They’ve been checked. They’ve got a good PPAP tracing them back through production, assembly, and testing. 

René has started a few companies, and he got the idea for PPAP Manager from his co-founders, Vinnie Delgado and Jeefb Santos, who have worked in the auto industry for more than 24+ years altogether. They were looking for opportunities in manufacturing that would solve a defined and important problem, and had plenty of room to scale. PPAPs provided exactly the right kind of opportunity. 

“The land of opportunity for the automotive industry”

“PPAP Manager fits our investment thesis to a T,” said Ted Serbinski, Managing Director of Techstars Detroit. He saw the same opportunity that René did, loved the founding team, plus he knew what Techstars Detroit could do for the company. “PPAP Manager should be doing business in Detroit, and Techstars is the best way to make that connection,” Ted said. 

Ted’s on a mission to change entrepreneurs’ perception of doing business in Detroit, and one of his favorite techniques is to bring in entrepreneurs from all over the world—and then let the city, and the Techstars experience, speak for themselves. In five years, he’s brought 54 startups to Detroit from eight different countries—the 2019 class alone is 60% international, with founders hailing from five countries outside the U.S. 

“Detroit is the land of opportunity for the automotive industry.” —René Pons, Founder of PPAP Manager

For Ted, the message is clear: If you’re a startup that does business with automotive or manufacturing, you need to get to Detroit.

René agrees. “Detroit is the land of opportunity for the automotive industry,” he said. “There’s no better place for us to be.” René sees that more and more companies globally are trying to get standards working, and that Detroit is a great place to work with many of these global auto companies, to spread these standards quickly. René is hoping that Techstars Detroit will get PPAP Manager to a proof of concept in partnership with one or more of the program’s corporate partners—who he sees as hungry for the kind of quality assurance that his company can provide. 

Rene Pons, Founder of PPAP Manager

Power of the Network

René knows how important connections are—one aspect he values in the Techstars accelerator is its diverse corporate partners, including Lear Innovation Ventures, Ford X, AAA, Avanta Ventures, USAA, Nationwide, Honda Innovations, and PlanetM. 

He knows the importance of great connections—to other entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors, as well as corporations—for helping startups grow because he’s seen this power, over and over again, as a Community Leader helping to run Techstars Startup Weekends across Central America. Since 2012, René has organized over a dozen Techstars Startup Weekends, most of them in Mexico, but also as a facilitator in Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and one in Seville, Spain, when he was briefly living in Madrid and wanted to get involved in the local startup community. Two years ago, he organized six Techstar Startup Weekends at once, all in different cities, three in one weekend and three the next. He describes himself as “the crazy organizer who tries to do different stuff.” 

René loves Techstars Startup Weekends because they change how people think, and then give them the tools and connections to start putting that change into action. “The first thing we need in Latin America is to change the way we are thinking,” René said. “We don’t have enough people building or starting new companies. People need to realize that they can take control of their lives and start solving the problems that they see.”

He sees the first step as getting people to try new things—like attending a Techstars Startup Weekend—and from this experience, new entrepreneurs and new companies will grow. René is happiest when he sees the locals in a community step up and start working. As a Techstars Community Leader, he knows the formula for a Startup Weekend, and his goal is to get the event rolling in each new community, and then leave the team there to keep it going. This is how the events—and the entrepreneurial spirit they engender—spread. 

“You learn a lot by getting involved and Giving First.”— René Pons, Founder of PPAP Manager

To René, Detroit is a model for where he hopes to see Latin American cities get to, with an evolving startup ecosystem and lots of opportunity for making connections and building businesses. 

Give First Wherever You Go

And, of course, René plans to get involved in the Detroit startup ecosystem, above and beyond participating in the accelerator program. “Wherever we go, we need to get involved. I’m looking forward to knowing people and to start sharing with them and learning from them,” René said.

René lives the Techstars value Give First, and he practices it wherever he goes. “You learn a lot by getting involved and Giving First,” René said. “The connections you get from being there and sharing with the community—you cannot put a price on it.” 

How Startup Ecosystems Grow

At first glance, Chihuahua and Detroit may not seem to have much in common. But now they share René Pons, and that’s a bond that will show results, we suspect. Maybe one day soon, they’ll both be known as startup hubs—growing companies, attracting talent, and transforming their regional economies. Entrepreneurship is powerful.  

Detroit has become a place that startups want to move to. Five years ago, post-bankruptcy, Detroit was a hard sell for startups. Today the supportive startup ecosystem and the affordable cost of living make it a desirable—and smart—place to start a business. 

René and PPAP Manager have moved from Chihuahua to Detroit for the three months of the accelerator program, and René plans to get involved in the local ecosystem. It may even make good business sense to keep PPAP Manager in Detroit long term. 

But that doesn’t mean René has abandoned his home, or the Chihuahua startup ecosystem. Long term, his dream is to invest in small companies in small cities all over Mexico. “There’s lots of talent with great ideas in Mexico,” he said, “But they don’t have the money to build a prototype. At that early stage, these companies need more support.” René wants to give that support, and be an angel or seed investor who helps make this startup ecosystem go. 

Ask Chris Heivly, Techstars VP of Innovation, about how startup ecosystems develop, and he’ll tell you that “ecosystem development is all based on success through a thousand nudges.” Connectors and believers like Ted and René provide these nudges constantly, doing their part to grow their ecosystems. 

They believe that entrepreneurs create a better future, and they’re doing their part to make that better future—one PPAP, one Techstars Startup Weekend, one company, one accelerator, one city at a time.








Announcing the 2019 Techstars Detroit Class

The Techstars Detroit Class of 2019 is the fifth mentorship-driven accelerator program to run in Detroit. 

This is our first program to run with the new name of Techstars Detroit. The name change reflects Techstars’ long term commitment to the region, along with an acknowledgment of the expanding mobility landscape. The word “mobility” no longer fully encompasses all of the businesses transforming how people and goods move around— it has become a label that is too limiting to encompass the future we see unfolding. We have refined our thesis to encompass this future:

    • We are investing in startups transforming the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. 
    • We are investing in founders building businesses that can leverage the strengths of Detroit to succeed.

Supporting this program in 2019 are a diverse set of corporate partners including Lear Innovation Ventures, Ford X, AAA, Avanta Ventures, USAA, Nationwide, Honda Innovations, and PlanetM.

This year’s class represents this broad change through a diversity of teams and technologies. 40% of the teams have female founders and 60% are international companies. Business models are a mix of consumer, enterprise, and governmental spanning industries that intersect with automotive and Detroit. 

As we head to Demo Day on October 1st, our mission is to change founders’ perception of doing business in Detroit. We plan to bring hundreds of mentors from leading automotive, mobility, transportation, and venture capital firms to the program. We will be evolving our Demo Day format to meet the needs of an industry craving deeper relationships with startups. Our new format will focus on driving more meaningful relationships between industry and startups.

With that, today we are excited to introduce the Techstars Detroit Class of 2019.

Airspace Link (Detroit, MI)

Providing highways in the sky for safer drone operations

https://airspacelink.com/

Alpha Drive (New York, NY) 

Platform for the validation of autonomous vehicle AI. 

http://alphadrive.ai

Le Car (Novi, MI)

An AI-powered personal car concierge that matches you to your perfect vehicle fit

https://www.lecar.co

Octane (Fremont, CA) 

Octane is a mobile app that connects car enthusiasts to automotive events and to each other out on the road

https://www.driveoctane.com/

PPAP Manager (Chihuahua, Mexico) 

A platform to streamline the approval of packets of documents required in the automotive industry, known as PPAP, to validate production parts

http://www.ppapmanager.com

Ruksack (Toronto, Canada)

Connecting travellers with local travel experts to help them plan a perfect trip

https://ruksack.com

 

Soundtrack AI (Tel Aviv, Israel)

Acoustics based & AI enabled Predictive Maintenance Platform

http://www.SoundTrackAI.com

Teporto (Tel Aviv, Israel)

Teporto is enabling a new commute modality with its one-click smart platform for transportation companies that seamlessly adapts commuter service to commuters’ needs

https://www.teporto.com

 

Unlimited Engineering (Barcelona, Spain)

Unlimited develops modular Light Electric Vehicles as a fun, cheap and convenient solution to last mile trips that are overserved by cars and public transportation

http://www.rideunlimited.co

Zown (Toronto, Canada)

Open up your real estate property to the new mobility marketplace








Techstars Detroit: Growing the “Comeback City’s” Startup Ecosystem

Detroit has recently earned a new nickname: Comeback City.

Just four years ago, Detroit came out of bankruptcy. We remember that day vividly because it was the same day we announced the first Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator program in Detroit: Techstars Mobility. We saw potential in Detroit, that it could take deep industry knowledge and become a hotbed of innovation for both corporations and startups.

Over the past four years, we’ve partnered with local corporations to gain their expertise and help them grow their innovation muscles. We’ve activated the Detroit startup ecosystem through the Techstars mentor network, facilitating over 10,000 meetings between startups and successful entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and government organizations. We’ve brought 44 startups to Detroit from eight different countries, spanning industries including automotive, transportation, city infrastructure, travel, manufacturing, and materials, who have raised over $80 million and are valued at over $215 million. The Demo Days for these accelerator classes have become huge events for the community, attracting over a thousand attendees each year. Techstars Startup Week Detroit attracts thousands more to its annual celebration of entrepreneurship. And, just last October, Detroit joined in the 2nd annual national Techstars Startup Weekend Latinx in Tech.

Our next step: Techstars is investing even more in Detroit, and transforming Techstars Mobility to Techstars Detroit.

We started with mobility—the industry that everyone knew Detroit could do and that Detroit itself knew it could do. That was four years ago: today, Detroit does that and so much more. “The word Mobility was becoming too limiting,” says Ted Serbinski, Managing Director of Techstars Detroit (and MD of Techstars Mobility for all four years). “We knew we needed to reach a broader audience of entrepreneurs who may not label themselves as mobility but are great candidates for the program.” Techstars Detroit is still looking for startups who identify as mobility innovations, but is also looking for startups that associate with industries such as manufacturing, IoT, and more. They’ll benefit enormously from working with Techstars corporate partners for the 2019 program: Ford, Honda, AAA, USAA, Nationwide, PlanetM, and, new for 2019, Lear. These partners know just how crucial it is to partner with startups and keep innovation top of mind. Detroit has seen what happens when you don’t.

Techstars Detroit is the natural evolution of all the work we’ve done previously, from Techstars Startup Weekends, to Techstars Startup Weeks, to a mobility accelerator, and now a broader accelerator—this is the arc of a successfully maturing startup ecosystem. Startup ecosystems have natural biorhythms; they evolve. What Detroit needed four years ago is different from what it needs today. Every community has a vertical or an industry that they excel in, but to move beyond that is a sign of maturation. Detroit can now support a wider version of entrepreneurship.

Chris Heivly, Techstars Entrepreneur in Residence and serial entrepreneur (MapQuest cofounder), is obsessed with the hows and whys of entrepreneurial ecosystem development. “Startup ecosystem development is all based on success through a thousand nudges,” Chris says. “Growing a startup ecosystem takes a long series of positive nudges—and Techstars Detroit is another really positive nudge.”

After four great years, we’re so glad to provide yet another nudge to the startup ecosystem of the Comeback City. Four years in, our engines are revving and we’re just getting started. 

Applications for Techstars Detroit are open! Apply today. 








Introducing the Techstars Mobility Class of 2018

Today I’m excited to introduce the 11 companies part of Techstars Class 141 – the Techstars Mobility Accelerator Class of 2018. Every company part of the 2018 Class has a diverse founding team and the businesses span a wide range of mobility solutions.

100% Diverse Founding Teams

The 2018 class is our most diverse class of founders to date. Of the 11 startups, all 11 have diverse founding teams in regards to gender, ethnicity, or age. I’m incredibly excited to bring such a talented and diverse set of founders to Detroit for the summer.

The teams come from all around the world including Hong Kong, London, and across the United States. None of the teams come from Michigan.

With the diversity of teams comes the diversity of ideas. I define mobility as the movement of people and goods, spanning industries like automotive, transportation, supply chain & logistics, travel, healthcare, agriculture, and more.

The incoming teams have a range of business spanning autonomous single rotor drones to applying machine learning to pedestrian intent to a connected bicycle helmet now available in Apple stores.

To see these companies in action, join us on October 9 at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where will host our fourth annual Techstars Mobility Demo Day. We’re expecting 1000+ attendees from around the world again this year. To join in on the fun (it’s free!), signup here to be notified when invites open up.

The 2018 Class of Techstars Mobility

Aerotronic (Indianapolis, IN): Autonomous inspection of the energy grid with drones.

Autobon AI (Chicago, IL): Eliminating many problems truckers and fleet owners face by retrofitting a connected sensing platform for existing commercial vehicles.

DeepHow (New York City, NY): An enterprise solution that transforms static technical manuals into interactive workflow guidance powered by AI.

Driver Technologies (Brooklyn, NY): A hardware-free mobile app enabling drivers to video-record their trip while warning them of dangers on the road and monitoring their alertness.

Humanising Autonomy (London, UK): Helping autonomous vehicles understand pedestrian behavior across cultures.

IntelliTire (San Francisco, CA): Making tires intelligent to improve the safety and performance of vehicles on the road.

LaneSpotter (Pittsburgh, PA): Mapping and navigation for cyclists by cyclists, with a focus on safety.

Lumos (Hong Kong, China): The next generation of bike helmets.

Priva (Chicago, IL): Inventing a new way to travel in luxury while skipping the hassles of flying.

SkyHi (San Francisco, CA): Claim last minute seats on planes for a low monthly subscription fee.

Zohr (Kansas City, MO): New tires delivered and installed for your vehicle.









19 Techstars Alumni Expoing at the North American International Auto Show

Techstars Mobility has partnered with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) for the second year in a row to bring over 50 global startups to Detroit in January 2018 to showcase their innovative mobility technologies as part of AutoMobili-D, a dedicated startup expo. This partnership is part of Techstars Mobility’s ongoing mission to connect the automotive and startup worlds by breaking down silos and forming partnerships.

Due to the success of last year’s AutoMobili-D expo, and Detroit’s continuous transformation, we were able to increase the amount of startups in attendance.

Last year, we had startups travel to Detroit for this event from across North America, as well as Dubai, London and Portugal. This year we will have an even greater international presence, with startups coming from 11 different countries. Out of the 57 participating startups, 19 are Techstars alumni.

This year’s showcase will also represent a wider-range of technologies, including:

  • Autonomous
  • Connected Car
  • Electrification
  • Fleet Management
  • Hardware / Sensors
  • Logistics
  • Manufacturing
  • Mapping / Journey Planning / Multi-Modal
  • Personal Mobility / Last Mile Vehicles
  • Security
  • Services / On-demand / Ride Sharing
  • Smart City and Infrastructure

Applications for Techstars Mobility 2018 program will be opening January 8th. Startups can apply here.

Here is a list of the Techstars companies that will be attending:








Program Momentum Continues with Largest Single-Day Event Focused on Mobility Startups in the World

I finished my third Techstars Mobility Accelerator program this month. It was an incredible experience, and I’m grateful to Lisa Seymour, my colleague and partner in running this program, for the terrific associates and volunteers that joined us this year, and of course, the incredible founders that came from all around the world to Detroit for 13 weeks.

Since June 2015, we’ve been super busy. We’ve invested in 33 startups from six different countries — only two came from Michigan. Of these startups, 21 have founders with diverse backgrounds. As a portfolio, they have gone on to raise $45M and are valued at $200M, with one exit (Hagerty acquired Classics&Exotics from our 2015 program). I expect these numbers to go up quite a bit as we head into 2018.

On Oct 18, 2017, our third program wrapped up with a multi-event demo day. Over the course of the day, we hosted over 1200+ individuals from 113+ different automotive OEMs, suppliers, transportation companies, and leading mobility venture capital funds. Our 2017 Techstars Mobility demo day was the largest single-day event focused on mobility startups in the world. This was also the third year we’ve had over 1000+ individuals at our demo day, continuing its recognition as the largest single-day startup event in Michigan.



Watch the full recording of the 2017 Techstars Mobility Demo Day

Featured media outlets covering our demo day include Xconomy, Benzinga, dBusiness, and Autoblog.


The Most International Class to go through the Mobility Program

  • Axle Travel (New York City) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    Axle Travel is the next evolution in ground-based, long-distance travel. We offer door-to-door transportation by combining on-demand ride-sharing services with our own pop-up intercity bus service.
  • Carma (Washington D.C.)— Watch their demo day pitch here
    Carma offers month-to-month subscriptions to your own car with insurance, maintenance and road assistance included. Like WeWork, for cars.
  • cycuro (Tel Aviv, Israel) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    cycuro is the world’s first data validation platform built specifically for mobility. We deliver data integrity to mobility operators and services providers via a cloud SaaS.
  • Damon X Labs (Vancouver, Canada) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    Using AI and edge computing, Damon’s sensor-driven platform unlocks the full potential of collision avoidance systems, making motorcycling safer by alerting riders to threats they can’t see.
  • Derq (Dubai, UAE) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    Derq is an MIT spin-off developing AI-based V2X software applications for connected and autonomous vehicles to eliminate road accidents and save lives.
  • EcoG (Munich, Germany) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    EcoG is the monetization engine of sustainable electric vehicle charging.
  • Fathom (Grand Rapids, MI) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    Fathom is modernizing and simplifying the recreational rental industry starting with its flagship product, the Fathom One, an underwater drone built for adventure.
  • Gridwise (Pittsburgh, PA) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    Gridwise is a mobile platform for rideshare drivers which increases their earnings 39% by leveraging data analytics and community to help them better understand when and where to drive.
  • SEEVA (Seattle, WA) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    SEEVA Technologies designs visibility systems for mobility. Our technologies quickly clean windshields, cameras, LIDAR and other sensors to help vehicles see.
  • Vartega (Golden, CO) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    Vartega creates low-cost recycled carbon fiber for vehicle lightweighting to enable mobility solutions such as battery technology, connectivity, and autonomy.
  • Wheeli (New York City) — Watch their demo day pitch here
    Wheeli is the carpooling app for college students — the Airbnb for the empty car seats on the road.

Forcing Serendipity by Connecting Amazing People Together

During the 2017 Techstars Mobility Accelerator program, over 2,500 meetings were scheduled between the 11 startups and hundreds of mentors representing OEMs, suppliers, transportation companies, and leading mobility venture capital funds.

I like to call this “forced serendipity” — when you pair up a bunch of amazingly smart people, the collisions of ideas and momentum of network lead to incredible results.

Ultimately that is the secret to why this program works so well. Through these encounters, founders received a lot of different viewpoints. Data gathered from these meetings is distilled down into wisdom that the founders use to grow their business, and the results always amaze me.

Thank you to all the great mentors that have supported the last three programs. And an extra special thank you to these 32 mentors as rated “most helpful” by the founders that have gone through Techstars Mobility.

What’s Next?

With our third program behind us, we aren’t slowing down.

We’ve partnered with the 2018 North American International Show (aka the Detroit Auto Show) again this year to bring over 50 mobility startups from around the world to Detroit.

During the week of January 14th, we’ll be unveiling our 2018 program with our supporting corporate partners and application link for startups to apply.

Look for more updates as we get closer to 2018.

If you’d like to talk with any of these mobility startups, let me know I’d be happy to connect you. Shoot me a note here.


Originally published at tedserbinski.com.








Detroit’s Mobility Startup Ecosystem on the Rise

New Corporate Partners and Office Mates Team Up with Techstars Mobility Accelerator

I’m excited to announce that we have brought on four new partners for the Techstars Mobility Accelerator in 2017: next47 (the independent investment arm of Siemens), Bosch, InMotion (powered by Jaguar Land Rover), and AAA. In addition, Mighty AI is opening an office in Detroit operating out of the Techstars Mobility Accelerator office.

The four new partners join existing partners Ford, Verizon, Dana, Honda, Munich Re, and Michelin. Together, these 10 corporate partners are helping mobility entrepreneurs from around the world succeed in building businesses transforming the future of transportation and mobility. Over the last 18 months, we have invested in 22 companies from around the world, including the United States, Canada, and Chile. Those companies have raised over $20M and are valued at $100M. On July 17th, we’ll be announcing our third class with companies coming from Tel Avi, Munich, Dubai, Vancouver and across the United States.

As we go into our third program, we have a proven model of combining entrepreneurs with corporations and capital to drive success and grow the local Detroit community in the process. Mighty AI is transforming the future of AI, offering Training Data as a Service for autonomous driving. Having raised nearly $30M from investors, including Foundry Group, Intel Capital, and others, Mighty AI sees the importance of being tied into the Detroit entrepreneurial community. Not only will they work closely with customers across Michigan, they will also actively mentor the incoming 2017 class. Mighty AI joins Oblong and Mapbox who both opened offices in Detroit out of the Techstars Mobility Accelerator office.

According to the Michigan Venture Capital Association 2017 Research Report, the are 141 active venture-backed startups in Michigan, nearly 50% increase in the last five years. And since Michigan has the highest research spending-to-venture capital investment ratio in the country, Michigan is the ideal place to grow startups in mobility. In fact, Lunar and SPLT, part of the 2015 class of Techstars Mobility, both relocated to Detroit from NYC.

As we look to the next five years, I’m excited that our program is operating at the intersection of Detroit’s two biggest strengths: its automotive dominance and entrepreneurial resurgence. Our next celebration for the growing community will be our 2-day Demo Day on Oct 18 and 19. To join the fun, sign up here.

 

This blog post originally published on tedserbinski.com








Expanding Techstars Mobility Demo Day with Autoblog’s UPSHIFT Conference

Save the date, Oct 18th and 19th in downtown Detroit: a 2-day event focused on startups & innovation driving the future of mobility.

The largest single-day startup & innovation event in Michigan, Techstars Mobility Demo Day will be coming back for its 3rd year on Oct 18, 2017. The event will take place at the Detroit Film Theatre, located inside of the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum. The 2017 class of startups from around the world will take the stage in front of 1000+ investors, automotive & transportation industry professionals, community members, and family and friends.

In 2017, we are partnering with Autoblog’s UPSHIFT conference to form a 2-day event focused on innovation that is driving the future of mobility, automotive, and transportation. This will be the largest event in Michigan focused on startups & innovation in the automotive and transportation industry. This will be the second year for Autoblog’s UPSHIFT, which gathers innovators and thought leaders from Detroit, Silicon Valley and around the world for a day of presentations, panels, tech demos and networking.

The past 2 years, our Techstars Mobility 2015 and 2016 demo days have attracted over a 1000 individuals from all around the world to come to Detroit and see these startups changing the future of transportation. You can watch our full 2016 demo day or our recap of our 2015 demo day.

Techstars Mobility is the first North American mentorship-driven startup accelerator program to focus on mobility startups and technologies. We invest globally in startups building technologies and innovative business models that transform how people and goods move across all modes of transportation (including pedestrian). We invest $120,000 in 10-12 startups each year, bringing them to Detroit for 90-days to work hands-on with them to accelerate their company. In the last 18 months, we have invested in 22 startups that have raised $20M and are valued at over $100M. These startups have come from all around the world including Tel Avi, Dubai, Germany, Chile, Canada, and across the United States. The 2017 Techstars Mobility class will be announced at the end of July.

We have 10 corporate innovation partners for 2017 including Ford, Verizon, Honda, Next47 (a division of Siemens), Dana, Munich Re, and Michelin that offer mentorship and support.

If you’d like to learn more or attend either or both events, sign up here.

This was originally published here. 








Webinar: Techstars Mobility (Online)

Who: Startups looking to apply to Techstars Mobility

What: Webinar + Live Q&A

When: April 4

Where: Online

Details: Click here to register for the event!








Office Hours: Techstars Mobility (Chicago)

Who: Startups looking to apply to Techstars Mobility

What: Office Hours

When: March 30 – March 31

Where: Chicago

Details: Click here to register for office hours!