Offering companies a route to the connected car

10th October 2017
Joe Bush

Over the next five years, the connected car is expected to disrupt the entire automotive ecosystem and the consumer market, as vehicles communications between each other and their surrounding infrastructure becomes increasingly sophisticated. By the year 2020, 220 million cars are expected to be connected, representing a €141bn business opportunity.

With this in mind IMPACT Accelerator has launched the first call of IMPACT Connected Car, a new programme led by FundingBox and ISDI which sets out to support, connect and fund companies that offer to disrupt the emerging market of the connected car.

Wireless electric charging, hacker-protected cars, smart driving and zero-emission transport are some of the concepts brought forward by companies who have been preselected to join the initiative.

With a fund of €2.1m, IMPACT Connected Car will help SMEs (small to medium enterprises) and startups to capture this business opportunity. It will identify companies that will lead the creation of new value link-chains in the Connected Car OpenSpace, with vehicle, infrastructure and device interactions as well as consumer and business services.

IMPACT Connected Car is funded by the European Commission, under the INNOSUP Initiative. It builds on the legacy and expertise of the IMPACT Accelerator, which invested over €7m in 78 startups from 2014 to 2017.

The current open call will be receiving applications from connected car startups and SMEs until 10th January 2018. During this period numerous info days will be organised across Europe, as well as online, in order to give applicants a deeper understanding of the programme and the application process.

By March 2018, the best 13 companies will be selected to enter the three stage smartisation programme, upon the completion of which they will receive up to €60,000 equity-free funding. Top performing startups will have the opportunity to receive additional private funding of up to €200,000 from participating venture capital funds.

As in other IMPACT programmes, funding will go hand-in-hand with a high-performance training programme in which renowned experts and international entrepreneurs will deliver practical classes across Connected Car Hubs and partner facilities. In addition, entrepreneurs will have access to an international network of more than one hundred recognised mentors, founders and investors who are experts in different key areas of knowledge, both in the digital sector and in the automotive industry.

The selected companies will showcase at top international events organised over the course of the year by 4YFN and Mobile World Capital Barcelona. They will specifically benefit from the support and advice of industry leaders, namely Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, Ferrovial Servicios and PSA Peugeot Citröen, and that of leading clusters and research centres including PARP and the five connected car hubs - CTAG, Mov’eo, INSERO, LPNT and Autoklastr. Technical support and access to smart open source software will be facilitated via the FIWARE Foundation.

To inspire companies in the industry, IMPACT Connected Car has preselected four pioneering connected car companies that are already making an impact on the emerging value chains in their respective sectors:

  • Argus (Israel) offers advanced cyber security systems to protect connected cars from hackers.
  • Botcar (Spain) delivers high compatibility smart driving and monitoring solutions.
  • Hevo (The Netherlands) has developed a wireless charging experience for electric vehicles.
  • Little (Spain) brings affordable small sized zero emission transport concepts to life.

Interested SMEs and startups are invited to apply to enter the IMPACT Connected Car programme here by 10th January 2018.

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