Young start-ups now have four weeks to submit their ideas connected with the mobility of the future. The incubator is addressed to company founders throughout the world. End of April, selected entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to present their ideas on mobility during a 10-minute pitch in Dresden. A selection committee will choose the best five ideas and teams for the spring group. The entrepreneurs will then spend six months in the Transparent Factory. Their teams will have to present initial results after three months. If these results are convincing, the start-ups will be able to develop their ideas to market maturity in Dresden. In the fall, five further companies will move to the Transparent Factory. "The start-up incubator will heighten Dresden's profile as a start-up location in the high-tech sector and will act as a magnet. We are sending a strong signal from Dresden to company founders and investors throughout the world," said Dirk Hilbert, Mayor of Dresden.
To house the start-ups, parts of the new production facility for the e-Golf in Dresden have been specially modified. The redesigned rooms provide space for up to 30 people – right at the heart of the Transparent Factory. "We see our unique selling proposition in providing direct access to vehicles. We will open the relevant software interfaces of our electric models to allow the start-ups to try out their ideas on, in or with a car or together with visitors to the Transparent Factory," Kai Siedlatzek said.
Dr. Jennifer Sarah Geffers, Head of the Volkswagen Group IT Ideation Hub, said: "We are looking forward to trying out and continuing the development of good ideas and products with start-ups at the Transparent Factory. The Ideation Hub and the Transparent Factory will be co-operating closely. Together we offer a wide variety of possibilities for networking start-ups and their ideas with partners throughout the company." The start-ups will also benefit from a vibrant environment. Dresden is among the strongest ICT start-ups centers in Germany. "The high-tech start-ups in Dresden will be the perfect interface between science and industry and will give a significant boost to the development of this industrial location," said Dr. Robert Franke, Head of the Economic Development Department of the City of Dresden.
The incubator is also intended for students or scientists who wish to start new companies. Important: the incubation program includes financial support of up to €15,000 per start-up. In connection with the program, the Transparent Factory also offers the assistance of mentors and coaches, an attractive working environment at the facility, high-quality IT infrastructure, contacts with Volkswagen research and development employees and decision-makers, professional advice by Sächsische Aufbaubank (SAB), close proximity to the start-up scene and both financial and personnel support from the City of Dresden. "Our policy is that the start-up team should focus on its idea and its core competence. We take care of the rest," Siedlatzek explained.