By Martin Olczyk, Managing Director of the Techstars Smart Mobility Accelerator
Last June we announced the launch of the Torino-based Techstars Smart Mobility Accelerator in partnership with Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT, and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center. You can learn more about our activities in Torino here and the Smart Mobility Accelerator here.
After an amazing Startup Week and Techstars Summit last year, we recently completed a very successful first year of the program with 11 international startups. Check out our online demo day here and learn more about how we and our partners helped the companies grow, raise funds, hire new employees, and expand into new markets.
Starting today, we are looking for 12 startups that are ready to change the world for good.
Despite the current economic situation, and contrary to the decision of other accelerators to reduce investment amounts, our commitment to founders is unwavering. Our 2021 program will take place and we will continue to invest at the same level of 120,000 USD.
The investment focus of the accelerator is almost unchanged from our inaugural year. We continue to look for mobility companies on the mission to make mobility smarter. When we talk about mobility, we take it to mean moving people, data, goods, and services. We are also bullish on adjacent markets within the Smart City industry and are interested in entrepreneurs who create a better environment through sustainable solutions for all global citizens.
It is worth mentioning that COVID-19 has changed the world we live in today, but it has also created new opportunities for innovative startups. Mobility itself has changed: how we work, commute and live has and will continue to evolve. Impactful sustainability and circular economy solutions — areas we are also very interested in, are more important than ever.
We believe entrepreneurs create a better world and that great companies are emerging everywhere. We are looking for diverse founders from every corner in the world. If you're passionate about your idea, committed to your mission, and excited about your vision — we do not care where you come from.
Our first program was a huge success, but we always work hard to raise the bar and provide the best possible environment for our founders. New strategic partnerships, even more mentors and more piloting opportunities await our next class. The combination of our partners’ international networks and the Techstars network provides exclusive access to corporates, innovation experts, and investors to create new business opportunities and technological development opportunities for the companies of the next class.
Together with the Torino City Lab, we can offer access to testing facilities, such as an urban circuit of 35 kilometers where startups can test innovative solutions for autonomous connected driving and sustainable mobility, a testing environment for drones as well as access to infrastructure technologies.
Furthermore, the Italian government recently launched the “Smarter Italy” program and announced its initiative to invest 20 million Euros to further boost the Smart Mobility industry in the country. Other initiatives are about to be launched in Torino, for example, the mobility and automotive research center. The goal is to promote sustainable transportation and enable further testing possibilities and new forms of mobility, such as electric and autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and ecological public transport.
Torino is rapidly transforming into a Smart City with plenty of opportunities for startups. And this is just the beginning!
Applications are open now through October 11. We will welcome the 12 selected companies on January 25th next year in Torino at OGR Tech, a brand new innovation hub of OGR - Officine Grandi Riparazioni Torino. You will have plenty of opportunities to talk to us and learn more about the program. But do not wait until the last minute — act now.
We are available for virtual office hours, ask-me-anything events, webinars with alumni companies, our mentors, and corporate partners. We will also be hosting live events, meetings and office hours across different cities. Stay tuned for more information.
During office hours, either in-person or virtually, we will meet the founding teams for 20-minute sessions. We want to learn more about you and give you the opportunity to ask us about the program. Before you meet us we highly recommend reading our FAQs to learn more about Techstars accelerators and checking out our program website. We also highly recommend visiting our application FAQ, which provides all necessary answers for a great application.
Come prepared with an elevator pitch, a team presentation, and your thoughts on why you want to join our program.
You can meet us next week during the first AMA and meet-the-team event, on July 28, from 18.00-19.00 CEST. Register here!
For further announcements, follow me on LinkedIn.