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Startup Autobahn - Fostering Five Growing Startups in Korea

Updated: Apr 28

Mercedez-Benz and it's startup accelerator program, Startup Autobahn, were featured in an article by the Chosun Ilbo Newspaper. Seoul Robotics joined Startup Autobahn last year as one of five leading Korean startups selected into the program. Since then, Seoul Robotics has successfully completed a POC with Mercedez-Benz in Korea.

Read the full article translated into English Below: (Original Article in Korean)

"Incubating Automotive Startups"

Mercedes Benz selected five companies last year and is planning to double this year.

Mercedes-Benz Korea introduced Germany's Daimler Group's startup incubation platform "Startup Autobahn" in Korea, in order to discover the most promising Korean startups and provide them with investment opportunities. Startup Autobahn, founded in 2016 by Daimler Group, is a startup development program that finds promising startups, matches them with coaching experts and helps them to grow and to attract investment from venture capital (VC).

Mercedes-Benz Korea is fostering promising venture companies in South Korea through its startup incubation platform, Startup Autobahn. On the 29th of last month, the Korea International Trade Association and N15 (N15), a startup promotion agency, signed a business agreement to support domestic startups' overseas expansion. From the left, Ryu Sun-jong, co-chairman of N15; Lee Kwan-seop, vice chairman of the Korea International Trade Association; Thomas Klein, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Korea; and Heo Je, co-chairman of N15; / Provided by Mercedes-Benz Korea

At last year's startup Autobahn, the first time the program was held in Korea, five startups were selected: Seoul Robotics, for developing autonomous software algorithms, Coconut Silo, for tracking cargo transportation based on big data, Happy Technology, for premium car-wash services, Thirteenth Floor for XR content, and Vestella Lab, for parking service development. These companies are currently seeking collaboration with Daimler in the future automotive industry.

Mercedes-Benz Korea is continuing on with startup Autobahn this year, as they did last year. Currently, it is recruiting participants through its official website, and plans to select companies through screening by startup experts in September. This year, the number of selected companies will be doubled to 10. The selected start-ups will go through various development programs ranging from coaching to collaboration with domestic and foreign partner companies such as SK Telecom and the Korea International Trade Association for the next 100 days. SK Telecom provides information and communication infrastructure such as 5G networks to help startups establish and improve business models. The Korea International Trade Association was responsible for searching for large business partners.

Finally, in December, the company plans to attract investment from venture capitalists through audition-type pitching competitions that will showcase the startups’ business models. Philip Nighting, executive director of Daimler Group Open Innovation, said, "We will continue to carefully support Korean startups to stand out on the big stage."

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