Infiniti and Nest, a Hong Kong-based investment company, today announced that the second ‘Infiniti Accelerator’, a 12-week startup development program, is now open for applications from around the world.
This second edition of the Infiniti Accelerator builds upon the successful completion of the first such program at the end of 2015. The Infiniti Accelerator 2.0 will continue the previous theme of smart cities but focus particularly on connectivity technologies as part of the solutions for future intelligent urban mobility.
The Infiniti Accelerator is part of Infiniti's commitment to encourage innovators, embrace an entrepreneurial spirit and support urban development. Through the application process, eight startups will be selected to receive support from Infiniti and Nest – which includes mentorship by specialists in the areas of vehicle connectivity, smart cities, hardware, manufacturing, transportation, technology and entrepreneurship. They will also have access to resources at Infiniti and Nest. At the end of the 12-week program, they will have the opportunity to pitch their business for funding and partnership at an exclusive Investor Demo Day.
After the successful pilot in Hong Kong, and a similar initiative in the Middle East, Infiniti also plans to expand the Accelerator program and other entrepreneurial initiatives to other cities and regions.
"The Infiniti Accelerator is a key part of Infiniti's initiative to promote entrepreneurial spirit in the community," said Roland Krueger, president of Infiniti Motor Company. "With the initial success of the first program in Hong Kong last year, we plan to expand this initiative to other cities around the world later this year including Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. We expect to see more forward-thinking solutions that will further enhance the quality of people's lives and empower the drivers through vehicle connectivity technologies."
Nest CEO Simon Squibb commented: "We are extremely proud of the eight startups that came through our first 'Accelerator' in Hong Kong. Through a best-in-class curriculum, direct access to inspirational mentors and introductions to investors, these companies have all capitalised on the opportunities available to them during the program. The success of the first cohort is validation that accelerators continue to add huge value to entrepreneurs and startups and we are excited to be scaling with Infiniti to offer these programs in a number of new regions around the world."
Countries across the world are becoming increasingly urbanised. This global phenomenon is changing the landscape of people's living conditions, city development and the environment. Automobiles play an important role in future intelligent cities. Technologies of connectivity will enable vehicles to talk with each other and with the city infrastructures, and will significantly enhance the driving experience.
The first Infiniti Accelerator program, which started in September 2015, attracted more than 140 applications and was successfully completed in December last year. Eight startup companies received training, support and mentoring from the program that empowered them to accelerate their business development. At the end of the 12 weeks, more than 170 potential investors attended the Demo Day at the Infiniti LAB where the entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to secure partnerships and funding.
One startup from Germany, Green City Solutions, developed the CityTree, an air-filtering panel that features a unique moss culture and acts like a tree, cleaning the air by filtering out harmful pollutants. Its filtering power is equivalent to that of 275 trees. With the support from the Infiniti Accelerator, Green City Solutions is promoting this solution across Asia and plans to establish the first CityTree in Hong Kong in April, in cooperation with the Hopewell Center, where the Infiniti Lab is located.
Another startup, Precision Services Limited (PSL), which developed a foldable, rollable and smart electric E-Cycle, received support from Infiniti on its product development. PSL is also in discussion with Infiniti around its product commercialisation plan.
Two other startups, TingPark, which created a platform that shows the real-time availability of car parking spaces around the city, and Blockdox, which developed software platform and mobile application to enhance building management, are in advanced discussions with Infiniti's parent company, Nissan, and their research teams in Silicon Valley on potential collaborations.
For more information about the Infiniti Accelerator program and other entrepreneurial initiatives in the Infiniti Lab, visit infiniti-hklab.com. Applications open today and the deadline for submissions is April 25, 2016.