Intelligent mobility, autonomous driving, connectivity… Automakers love these keywords. They are at the heart of most manufacturer’s long-term strategy as they shell out millions if not billions of dollars trying to figure out what tomorrow’s consumer will want.
MINI on its own doesn’t have the resources to spend countless dollars on a future intelligent-something plan. What it does instead is invest in businesses from around the world as a startup venture capital under the Urban-X banner. In doing so, it contributes to launching a wide range of ingenious ideas aimed at a variety of urban issues that need be tackled.
One could argue that in doing so, MINI is playing a much bigger role than most other manufacturers in shaping the world we will live in tomorrow. We may not get a flying and autonomous MINI that can talk to the clouds any time soon, but thanks to Urban-X you may soon have access to a mask that sends a stream of clean air in front your nose and mouth to protect you from pollution.
The products and technologies that have come out of the Urban-X program are truly impressive. We compiled a list of 10 that truly stand out which you can check out here.
Companies chosen by Urban-X enter a 20-week program that covers everything from product development to network building to customer management and relationship building. The Urban-X team provides these businesses with expertise in plenty of fields, from engineering to branding and marketing. Businesses that enter the Urban-X program also get $100,000 in initial funding which can be used in any way they see fit to get their product to market.
The initial investment is meant to get the company and its idea off the ground, but Urban-X will also provide guidance and assist in obtaining additional financing.
As you can imagine, the program is quite competitive. Only 0.5 % of businesses are accepted after a five-month application period called a Cohort. The next Cohort is scheduled to begin in December 2018. To learn more, click here.