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Got a Startup to Get People Moving? Ford-Backed Techstars Mobility, Driven by Detroit Providing Funding, Training

  • Ford-sponsored mentorship program Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit is talent-scouting for a new class of innovators to develop mobility and transportation solutions
  • $120,000 startup funding and training available for up to 12 companies; last year, 10 innovative startups raised more than $3 million after completing the program
  • New startup class to focus on connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics – the key elements of Ford Smart Mobility




LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2016 – Ford-sponsored Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit today begins accepting applications from startups interested in developing future mobility solutions.

Up to 12 startups will receive $120,000 in funding and three months of mentoring and training to develop ideas and solutions aligned with Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take Ford to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, as well as data and analytics.

“Working together, Techstars Mobility and Ford are supporting smart, ambitious inventors who are creating innovative solutions to change the way the world moves,” said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering. “Some of today’s most innovative thinking is coming from startups, and we’re excited to bring this new thinking to Detroit and the auto industry.”

This class of innovative startups is invited to focus on developing advancements in four key areas:

  • The consumer experience
  • Information technology and data analytics
  • Multimodal trip integration
  • Flexible ownership and user experience

Applicants can apply now at Deadline for submissions is March 22. Participants will kick off the program June 13, culminating with Demo Day on Sept. 8.

Techstars Mobility, a mentorship-driven accelerator program, launched in 2015 to focus on next-generation mobility and transportation solutions. The program is managed by Techstars, which was launched in 2007 and has accelerated 660 companies that have raised $5 billion.

Techstars Mobility’s focus on Ford Smart Mobility stems from the vision of company Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who has led the charge to bring attention to the potential long-term consequences of growing gridlock worldwide.

The consortium includes several other global corporations, including Magna International, Verizon, Dana, Honda, McDonald’s, Munich Re and Michelin. Each is contributing program funding and mentorship support.

The 2015 class included 10 startups that raised more than $3 million since completing the program. Seven of the companies are establishing a presence in metro Detroit to advance their innovations, including:

  • Cosmos, a pay-as-you-go mobile platform. Now in testing, the plan would give mobile phone customers the option to pay per day or per use for phone data – eliminating the need for pricey contracts
  • Elegus Technologies, a battery technology that would increase the energy density and safety of traditional batteries – enabling batteries to become smaller and hold more power. Developed over a four-year period, the team is testing the technology for production in the near future 

“The first year exceeded all expectations, with 10 amazing companies, a worldwide response, more than 300 participating mentors across Detroit and eight active corporate entities,” said Ted Serbinski, managing director, Techstars Mobility. “This was all brought together by the automotive dominance and entrepreneurial resurgence in Detroit. We’re excited to grow this program in 2016 and beyond.”

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams.  The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty.  Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services.  The company does that through three customer-centered business segments:  Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs.  Additionally, Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  Ford employs about 176,000 people worldwide.  More information about the company and its products and services is available at

About Techstars

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of community programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More Faster. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from early stage grassroots community development to more formal opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, funding, and beyond. For more information, visit

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