Startup Autobahn.



The spirit of Silicon Valley at the heart of engineering

STARTUP AUTOBAHN is an innovation platform that opens its doors to entrepreneurship in the mobility sector. As STARTUP AUTOBAHN, we mediate between startups and large corporations, thus combining specific technical know-how with comprehensive automotive expertise. Within 100 days, the aim is to find out whether companies and startups can join forces in cooperation projects or investments.

The scouting process at STARTUP AUTOBAHN

The STARTUP AUTOBAHN starts in the 100-day scouting phase with a global screening of more than 1,000 startups. In deep dives we evaluate and filter the startups according to topic clusters together with the experts. The Selection Day marks the end of the 100-day scouting phase. Around 50 startups will present themselves in a kind of "speed dating". The STARTUP AUTOBAHN provides the 30 most promising startups with a firm partnership for the upcoming pilot projects.

The pilot process at STARTUP AUTOBAHN

Now it is getting exciting. In the 100-day pilot phase, the startups will start a joint pilot project with Daimler AG and develop concepts and prototypes. This is where innovations comes alive! The STARTUP AUTOBAHN provides support in finding business partners and in many startup and technical questions. The corporate partners decide together with us whether they want to continue investing in the startups.

The Expo Day

The finale will be crowned with the final Expo Day. Twice a year, the future leaders present their groundbreaking pilot projects on the future of mobility and sustainable production to a broad audience of Daimler experts, other corporate partners, investors, researchers and developers. The overriding goal is technological cooperation or investment in the selected startup concepts.

STARTUP AUTOBAHN Plug & Play EXPO Day Program 6


Open Innovation is an important lever in today's very dynamic market environment. This is why we at STARTUP AUTOBAHN are constantly looking for disruptive innovations and new approaches for the further development of mobility and sustainability areas. We combine the founding spirit with comprehensive automotive expertise to help shape the future of mobility.

The STARTUP AUTOBAHN platform was founded in 2016 within Mercedes-Benz AG and has continued to grow ever since. Our conviction to combine the best of both worlds is well received. We bring together creative startups with experienced experts from established industrial companies.

The innovation driver STARTUP AUTOBAHN, founded by Mercedes-Benz AG, works in cooperation with the research factory ARENA2036, the University of Stuttgart and the US Accelerator Plug & Play. Together with various industry partners, we are continuously expanding the search field within the startup industry to also promote technologies from other branches of industry for the mobility sector, such as the technology and IT sector, the chemical industry and the logistics sector.

STARTUP AUTOBAHN has already established itself globally and is further expanding its international network. In addition to locations such as China, India and Singapore, STARTUP AUTOBAHN also supports South Africa and the USA (MBUSI) in local startup scouting and invites to regular startup challenges. Mercedes-Benz AG thus makes global startup scouting possible on various platforms.

Impressionen vom STARTUP AUTOBAHN Expo Day

Reaching your goal through cooperation

Integration and investment in our future projects are the primary goals of each phase. The successful cooperation of our departments with the startup what3words  and the jointly developed 3-word address system is of great importance for us. In spring 2018, the completely new infotainment system - Mercedes-Benz User Experience - went into series production with the new A-Class as the first representative of the next compact class generation.

The what3words team.

That's us!

Team Stuttgart

Philipp Gneiting

Head of Open Innovation

Felix Köppenkastrop-Lüker

Program Operations Scouting

Maike Hammer

Program Operations Piloting

Denis Bettenmann

Program Operations Scouting

Team global

Xingjian Cui


Prabhushankar Patil


Seungyong Lee


Abhilasha Atha