Babson College, one of the pioneers and global leaders in entrepreneurship education, and the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), Toyota's dedicated global foundation to help more people go more places, announced a two-year partnership aimed at accelerating the development of creative mobility solutions that could be deployed in communities in the United States and beyond.
The Toyota Mobility Foundation will provide $2 million (Rs 13 crore) toward the partnership with Babson to identify real-world mobility issues facing a local community and create a sustainable plan that would address that challenge.
"Babson is thrilled to partner with the Toyota Mobility Foundation to explore innovative solutions to urban transportation problems and new ways to increase mobility within our communities," said Babson President Kerry Healey. "We look forward to bringing the full power of entrepreneurial thinking—from our faculty, students, alumni, and research centres—to this important initiative."
Mobility innovations increasingly empower people to fulfil their potential, reduce limitations, and expand possibilities for every member of society.
Combining Babson's entrepreneurial mindset, known for navigating the future, identifying new opportunities and finding creative solutions to problems, with the mobility know-how and expertise of TMF, Babson and TMF will form a collaborative entity for idea generation, practical education, venture creation, and growth to better understand and utilise human-centered design for future mobility. Through the partnership, Babson and TMF will design, launch, and scale mobility models to solve on-the-ground problems, while collaborating with select cities to ensure functionality within local communities.
"At Toyota, our vision is to lead the future mobility society, enriching lives around the world with the safest and the most responsible ways of moving people, and this partnership with Babson is a wonderful opportunity to innovate in the United States," said Akio Toyoda MBA'82, chairman of the board for the Toyota Mobility Foundation, and president and member of the board of Toyota Motor Corporation. "Babson's resourceful spirit and ability to develop talent through their entrepreneurial mindset makes the college and its students ideal partners as we continue to explore the future of mobility. I look forward to learning, discovering, and testing new ideas alongside Babson, as we seek to create an ever-better society for the next 100 years and beyond."
Leveraging Toyota Mobility Foundation's expertise in the broader mobility space, the partnership will build on Babson's learning methods that have been proven to accelerate impact, including those that have been used in similar labs in the food, global healthcare, and IoT for Good industries. The curriculum will include mentoring, business model testing, capital planning, and pitching. Participants will connect directly with socially driven community leaders from both local government and civil society to tackle actual challenges and to test new solutions.
The two-year partnership will launch by the end of 2019. It will include evaluation and selection of interested local communities, implementation of courses with fieldwork, a general needs assessment, problem framework development, identification of initial opportunities, and engagement with community stakeholders. Continued work will include solution generation and selection, solution delivery and diffusion, and iterative entrepreneurial experimentation.