INFINITI Motor Company, Ltd. and Nest, a leading venture capital firm and innovation partner, have announced the launch of "INFINITI LAB, Smart Mobility" in Singapore, a unique program created to give founders the opportunity to achieve validation of their business over the course of eight weeks. Applications are open until February 12, 2017 and the program will culminate in June 2017.
INFINITI LAB, Smart Mobility has a defined objective: give high-potential startups in mobility and connectivity intensive training and mentoring, so they can pitch a viable business-use case to INFINITI's senior decision makers and key innovation stakeholders from across the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The eight-week program is aimed at startups that have advanced from the idea stage and are ready to gain validation in a commercial setting. INFINITI calls this an Ignition program, a stage beyond the traditional Accelerator format.
"This program is a key part of INFINITI's initiative to promote entrepreneurial spirit in the business community," said Roland Krueger, president of INFINITI Motor Company. "Automobiles play an important role in future intelligent cities. Technologies of connectivity will enable vehicles to communicate with each other and with city infrastructures. This will significantly enhance the driving experience, and INFINITI is committed to leading the development in this area."
"INFINITI LAB, Smart Mobility" is part of INFINITI's ongoing commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship – with course content designed specifically to prepare early-stage companies in the fields of smart mobility and connected technology for corporate integration.
Up to eight startups will be selected by an experienced panel before being invited to Singapore from April to June 2017 to join the first-of-its-kind initiative. Each founder will receive dedicated mentorship and guidance from industry experts at INFINITI and Nest, tailored to help refine their business models and prepare them to pitch for a proof of concept (POC) project with INFINITI by the end of the eight weeks. There will also be an investor Demo Day to give the startups the opportunity to pitch to investors with the aim of securing further funding and new business opportunities.
The program is strategically located in Singapore, one of the world's most progressive nations in regard to its commitment to building a fully smart, connected and sustainable city. The startups, which will be selected from local and international applications, will be intrinsically linked to the Singaporean innovation ecosystem for the duration of the program and benefit from the wealth of opportunities available through the alignment with the Government's Smart Nation initiative.