Munich. The BMW Group has set itself ambitious goals to increase sustainability. To achieve this aim, the company is inviting startups worldwide to participate in the Open Call 360° Sustainability Challenge.
Collaboration with young companies can play a key role in promoting the use of innovative technologies. That is why the BMW Group launched the BMW Startup Garage back in 2015 and is now taking the next step with the Open Call 360° Sustainability Challenge.
“We are looking forward to receiving applications from business founders around the world. We have believed for a long time that startups have a key role to play in helping us shape individual, connected and sustainable mobility,” says Bernhard Schambeck, head of BMW Startup Garage.
The Challenge defines seven innovation areas in which startups can put forward their products and solutions: Recyclable Materials, Sustainable Supply Chain, Energy-efficient Production, Mobile Intelligence, Intelligent Building Management, Customer-centric Mobility, Sustainable Technologies. There is also a “wild card” option for exciting topics that do not fit into any of these categories.
The BMW Startup Garage will evaluate all innovations submitted. The startups chosen will be invited to pitch their solution in late July, with the chance to win the BMW Group as a client. The final winners will be recognised at the IAA Mobility in Munich in September. The decisive factor in selecting startups and determining whether they move on to the next round is how the solution contributes to sustainability at the BMW Group in the defined innovation areas.
The winning startups will gain access to the BMW Startup Garage’s venture client programme. Candidates will have the chance to learn more about the programme and the seven areas they can apply in during a one-hour virtual event held from 4-5 p.m. on 11 May. Registration for the Challenge is now open on the BMW Startup Garage website. All applications must be received no later than 28 June.
BMW Group offers long-term collaboration and extensive network
The BMW Startup Garage shares ideas with more than 1,000 startups in about 30 countries every year, seeking out innovations that deliver real benefits for the BMW Group’s products, services, systems and processes. This secures the company early access to innovations that can be customised before they are ready to market.
In return, the startups gain valuable insights into automotive processes and have the opportunity to build a network within the company. They also receive assistance with refining their business plan. The aim of the programme is to evaluate and enable startups as suppliers and long-term partners for the BMW Group. Since the Startup Garage was founded, more than 100 young technology companies with an investment volume of over 2.8 billion US dollars have gone through the programme.
Extensive commitment to worldwide startup scene
The BMW Startup Garage is one of four pillars on which the BMW Group bases its collaboration with startups around the world. Through BMW i Ventures, the BMW Group invests in fast-growing technology start-ups that can create strategic value added for the company – focusing on areas including digital vehicle technologies, autonomous driving and on-demand mobility. BMW i Ventures secures the BMW Group access to the technologies of the future.
To support sustainable startups and entrepreneurs, the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt launched the accelerator program RESPOND operated by UnternehmerTUM. RESPOND is the world’s first accelerator program that supports responsible leadership and thereby helps scale sustainable business models for a better future in line with the UN Agenda 2030.
Since 2016, the MINI Startup Accelerator URBAN-X has worked with more than 60 startups whose innovations are making life in the city better, more pleasant, more convenient, more sustainable or more experiential. These startups are working on solutions for some of the biggest problems facing cities around the globe, in categories such as mobility, infrastructure, energy and recycling.

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