BMW group27 Sep 2017

The launch of the second BMW Innovation Lab has recently been announced. The new programme builds on the success of the inaugural Lab in 2016, which saw four out of five startups successfully build ongoing relationships with the company's UK commercial operations.

BMW Innovation Lab 2018 provides an opportunity for early-stage start-up companies to partner with BMW Group's UK commercial divisions. It's aimed at companies with disruptive business models or new technologies that could benefit BMW customers in any of the following four categories:

Seamless Customer Experience – how startup technology can add value to both the online and in-person retail process

Enhancing Business Processes – automating existing operations

Access vs. Ownership – exploring new business models to give existing and new target customer groups greater access to mobility solutions

RegTech Wilcard – new solutions focused around the affordability, compliance and regulatory environments

Run in partnership with L Marks, a corporate innovation specialist and investment fund, the successful startups selected to take part in the 10-week programme will have access to a number of exclusive opportunities, including: mentorship from the BMW UK leadership team, a collaborative working environment at BMW UK's HQ in Farnborough, access to vehicles and other resources, a business education programme with links to a network of industry experts and access to investors and fundraising support from L Marks.

Eight successful teams will then be selected to embark on a 12-week structured mentoring programme to complete a comprehensive business plan describing how their idea can be turned into a commercial reality.

“The BMW Innovation Lab in 2016 was a great example of the tremendous growth and scale a business such as BMW can give to start-up businesses, and of the exciting new solutions the start-ups can offer in turn," said Stuart Marks, Chairman of L Marks. "The successes from last year demonstrated the immense value for all parties. We are very excited to again be partnering in running the programme this year on a larger scale and involving the wider BMW business.”

Mike Dennett, CEO at BMW Group Financial Services (GB) Ltd, said: “The BMW Innovation Lab was designed to ensure it would have a real and long-lasting effect on our business. By working with the start-ups, it opened our minds to how we can be more agile, how we can be faster to market and how we can think just that little bit differently. Last year’s cohort is evidence of this. Four of the businesses have a continuing commercial engagement with BMW. That’s good for BMW but it is also a great opportunity for any start-up to secure your first enterprise-scale relationship.

“For 2018 we wanted to improve the model further. Great ideas exist both outside and inside the organisation. The new intrapreneur stream added for 2018 captures the creativity inside BMW Group’s commercial subsidiaries in the UK and provides our employees with a programme to nurture it, helping us to better serve our customers today and tomorrow.”

For more information or to submit an application, visit by 16 October 2017.

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