Techstars began in Boulder, CO in 2007, and since then the accelerator has effectively transformed the city into a booming tech hub. That is, as David Cohen firmly believes, Techstars has the power to transform a city.
Back in December I wrote that Techstars was going to partner with Ford Motor Company to take on transforming a city once more. Only this time it would be Detroit, and, seeing as how the city is more colloquially known as Motor City, the focus would be purely on mobility solutions.
Techstars Mobility was officially born, and it's destined to continue a vision that Henry Ford had as far back as 1903: make it easier for people to get around. Although instead of a Model T or A, Techstars Mobility will leverage mobile devices, wireless connectivity, and cloud computing to accomplish this goal.
It was announced at launch that Techstars Mobility would accept 10 startups for the program and give them each $120,000 in funding. The first class has officially been chosen, and Techstars tells us that they’ll be front runners in representing the future of mobility as it pertains to people, goods, and services.
Outside of their partnership with Ford Motor Company, Techstars also partnered with Magna International, Verizon Telematics, Dana Holding Corporation, Honda R&D Americas, and McDonald’s. There are also an additional 150 mentors and investors that will be helping the inaugural class.
Applications poured in from all over the world – literally every continent except Antarctica had representation. At the end of the day though, only 10 made the cut for the Techstars Mobility class of 2015:
- Ansik: Ansik makes automobile service safer, quicker, and more affordable for everyone.
- CDL Warrior: A communication and productivity platform for the trucking industry that connects truck drivers to their supply chain partners and improves efficiency, visibility, and compliance.
- Classics & Exotics: They bring the sharing economy into the car enthusiast’s garage, allowing class and exotic car enthusiasts to now offset their car ownership costs by renting their cars to prescreened, highly qualified renters.
- Cosmos: They offer internet via SMS that requires no data or WiFi.
- Elegus Technologies: A spinout from the University of Michigan, they’re commercializing battery separator technology that can enable safer, longer lasting batteries.
- GearBrake: A universal, easy to install brake light module that can detect when your vehicle is slowing and automatically light the brake lights, reducing the risk of rear end collision by up to 90 percent.
- Motoroso: They combine content, community, and commerce for automotive enthusiasts to help them discover, connect, and buy everything that powers their lifestyle.
- My Dealer Service: They empower automotive service departments with digital connectivity and workflow management, elevating efficiency and creating an unprecedented customer experience.
- Splitting Fares: SPLT, as it’s called, is a social ridesharing app designed to connect people with similar routes, share the far, save money, reduce traffic and emissions, and change the way people meet and move in cities around the world.
- WISE Systems: They provide real time routing and analytics software to help on demand delivery companies serve their customers more effectively.
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