Techstars and Audi Launch Pre-Accelerator Program to promote innovation in Mobility

Aug 01, 2022

BERLIN, August 1, 2022 Techstars, a global investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, and programming for early-stage entrepreneurs, and Audi Denkwerkstatt, the innovation lab for leading premium automotive and motorcycle manufacturer, Audi, are partnering to support innovative founders working in the digitalization and mobility space. This will be the first ever Techstars pre-accelerator in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) and applications are now open.

“Techstars partners with organizations like Audi to provide opportunity to early-stage founders through a hands-on mentorship-driven environment while also offering corporate partners access to new technologies and ways approaching industry specific challenges,” said Martin Schilling, managing director of Techstars. “Partnerships like this one we have with Audi help to build powerful local startup ecosystems in markets like Germany and around the world.”   

Individual founders with an innovative idea or early-stage company in this pre-accelerator program will receive valuable startup education, mentorship, community building, and access to the Techstars worldwide network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and partners. They will also receive support from Audi’s technology and mobility expertise across a variety of business units. Participants will hone their entrepreneurial skills, connect with fellow founders for possible collaborations, and better understand their target customers.

The program will take place from January to March 2023 in a hybrid (in-person and virtual) format and each founder going through the program will receive a stipend of €2000 per month for three months.

Previous Techstars global Pre-Accelerator Programs (also known as Founder Catalyst) have led to fifteen hundred mentor connections, ten product launches, over one million dollars raised, and dozens of active investor conversations. In addition, seven participants have been accepted into Techstars accelerators following their completion of the program.

“Audi Denkwerkstatt is driving innovation for digital business models at Audi. Our goal is to develop customer-focused innovations quickly, efficiently, and then get them ready for the market. Having Techstars on our side as a strong partner, we’re opening ourselves up to an outside innovator community and to even more exciting business ideas. At the same time, we’re optimizing the interface between our corporation and the startup community,” says Tim Miksche, head of Audi Denkwerkstatt.

All early-stage founders focused on mobility, health, community and beyond are encouraged to apply now through November 1, 2022 or contact Early applications are prioritized.

About Techstars

The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 3,100 companies with a combined market cap of more than $140B.

About Audi

The Audi Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium and luxury segments. The brands Audi, Ducati, Lamborghini and Bentley produce at 21 locations in  13 countries. Audi and its partners are present in more than 100 markets worldwide. 

In 2021, the Audi Group delivered around 1.681 million cars from the Audi brand, 8,405 sports cars from  the Lamborghini brand and 59,447 motorcycles from the Ducati brand to customers. In the 2021 fiscal year,  AUDI AG achieved a total revenue of €53.1 billion and an operating profit before special items of €5.5 billion.  More than 89,000 people all over the world work for the Audi Group, around 58,000 of them in Germany.  With its attractive brands, new models, innovative mobility offerings and groundbreaking services, the group  is systematically pursuing its path toward becoming a provider of sustainable, individual, premium mobility.

The Audi Denkwerkstatt has already received the award “Best Innovation Lab in Germany” (joint study “Corporations on the heels of startups” by Infront Consulting and the magazine Capital,  2019 and 2020) – twice. The experience gained since its founding in 2016 through this very successful intrapreneurship program for the automotive industry in Germany forms the  foundation of a strategic realignment. One result of this continual advancement is that, in terms  of the open-innovation approach, collaboration with external founders and startups will  intensify in the future in order to exhaust the innovation potential at the interface between Audi and the startup ecosystem and to promote Audi’s new strategic business areas.

Media contact Techstars:

Jennifer Pakradooni 

Media contact Audi:

Regina von Katte