A dedicated team selects start-ups developing innovative ideas for the mobility of the future, and follows them closely.
Working on the mobility services of the future means taking a wider look at technological trends and following the most innovative start-ups closely, and the Ideation:Hub was created precisely to meet these requirements. It is a division of Volkswagen Group IT responsible for shadowing companies taking their first steps in the field of mobility, and technology more generally. Its offices in Wolfsburg and Berlin are staffed by an interdisciplinary team – made of IT specialists, management and mechanical engineers, designers, experts in sales and in social science – that examines the start-ups’ projects and operates as an access channel towards the Group as a whole.
The flow is as simple as it is effective: the start-up is presented via the dedicated website, the Ideation:Hub team evaluates the project and, if it finds it convincing, it proceeds to investigate further. If the result is positive, the start-up is included in a pitch round which can lead to three possible forms of collaboration with the Volkswagen Group: the development of a pilot project, an investment, or inclusion in the Future Mobility Incubator in Dresden. In the first case, the Group’s specialists help the start-up to create the business concept, in the second they assess the opportunity of direct financing or acquisition by the Group, while in the third case the start-up remains independent but can make use of the Volkswagen Group’s network and resources to grow its business.
Technology and innovation
The Ideation:Hub is directly involved in shaping the mobility of the future, and plays a strategic role in defining the collaboration between the Group’s teams and the start-ups. The search for new ideas is constant and is not limited to the product or related services, but also looks at innovative solutions for the production processes and the working environment. The most widely explored fields are robotics, 3D technology and virtual reality.
Future Mobility Incubator
The work of the Ideation:Hub is intertwined to that of the Future Mobility Incubator in Dresden, set up in partnership with the city government and housed inside the “Transparent Factory”. Here, a dedicated team manages a cyclical mentoring programme, which operates over 200-day periods bringing concrete results both for the Group and for the start-ups. There are five areas of interest: mobility on demand, infotainment, safety, intelligent infrastructure and dedicated services. The start-ups have the chance to work in a stimulating environment which is open to innovation, as well as enjoying a 15,000 Euro budget and extensive support in developing and presenting their ideas to potential investors.