On the Autobahn to success

by | Oct 10, 2018 | In BaWü

A mix of suits and bright coloured sneakers – that’s the charm of Startup Autobahn. We gathered impressions about this innovative platform at an event hosted in the Arena2036 in Stuttgart

It is named after the German high-speed motorway – the only one in the world without speed limit. And just like the Autobahn, the exchange platform aims to accelerate joint projects between young tech companies and experienced corporations of the automotive field. Startup Autobahn was launched by Plug and Play Germany together with Daimler AG, the University of Stuttgart and ARENA2036 e.V. These experienced global players and innovative heads from economy and higher education have created a place that brings together startups from around the world with experts from Silicon Valley, and the best engineering providers from Germany. All involved parties contribute to the growth of technology companies in the region of Baden-Württemberg and support joint projects between internationally active corporations, the start-ups and the corporate partners of the platform-founders. Besides being the birthplace of the automobile and therefore the most suitable place for this platform, Stuttgart is in fact one of the leading IP regions in the world and a hub for business, engineering and breakthrough inventions. At the Meetup Event end of September in honour of the launch of “Program 5”, start-ups from all over the world pitched their company to their fellow colleagues and potential investors. The evening was for networking, exchanging ideas, and finding the perfect corporate. After the start-ups leave the so-called incubator and accelerator stages, they are eligible to join Startup Autobahn. For these ‘post accelerators’ a whole new world opens: suddenly, they are global, being watched by investors from every corner of this planet. The Senior Vice President Global Sales of the Silicon Valley based start-up Cogniac, Vahan Tchakerian, said that even though they are from the ‘original’ Silicon Valley, his company has always had an excellent relationship with Plug and Play and therefore Startup Autobahn was the next step. As for why he came to the German Silicon Valley, he said, “Germany is very key as it’s heavily manufacturing based and our solution is very much aligned with industrial manufacturing and industrial inspection sectors. There have been over 130 start-ups altogether, and in the last program, start-ups managed to raise over $250 Million. The goal of Program 5 is for the chosen start-ups to stand on stage on the 21st of February 2019 and announce who they are, and who their corporate is. Startup Autobahn is a great innovative platform that is attractive to founders, investors, and genuinely interesting for the community. As Vahan Tchakerian said, Cogniac is part of the Startup Autobahn because they want to “build relationships, help other start-ups, support PnP and their amazing effort to connect corporate customers to start-ups. It’s a process and a very good one.”