Ford Opens Applications for Startup Mentorship, Funding Program

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Ford Motor Co. today begins accepting applications for its mentorship program, Techstars Mobility, for startups interested in developing mobility solutions. Up to 12 startups will each receive $120,000 in funding, along with mentorship and training.

“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,” says Ken Washington, vice president of research and advanced engineering at Ford.

Washington says the next class of startups will focus on developing advancements in the areas of consumer experience, information technology, data analytics, multimodal trip integration, and flexible ownership and user experience.

The program is managed by Techstars, which after launching in 2007, has accelerated 660 companies that have raised $5 billion.

Washington says the 2015 class included 10 startups that raised more than $3 million since completing the program. Seven of the companies have established a presence in metro Detroit, including Cosmos, a pay-as-you-go mobile platform, and Elegus Technologies, a developer of battery technologies.

“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,” says Ted Serbinski, managing director of Techstars Mobility.

Magna International, Verizon, Dana, Honda, McDonald’s, Munich Re, and Michelin each contribute program funding and mentorship support.

Applicants can apply at Techstars.com/apply. Deadline for submissions is March 22.

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