Techstars Mobility to Feature 12 Startups During 2016 Demo Day at Detroit Opera House


Twelve startup companies from around the world will give an overview of their businesses and how they are impacting the automotive mobility industry at the Detroit Opera House this afternoon during the second annual Demo Day presented by Techstars Mobility, an organization created to support new automotive technologies and promote innovative entrepreneurship.

The companies, which are part of the graduating class for Techstars’ most recent accelerator program — a 90-day mentorship in Detroit, which began in June — received $120,000 in funding to work on their business models. The organization also partnered with Ford Motor Co., Magna, Verizon Wireless, Dana, Honda, McDonald’s, Munich Re, and Michelin to support and mentor the startups.

“We’re on a mission to connect startups to the automotive world, by breaking down silos and working across the automotive industry to build partnerships,” says Ted Serbinski, managing director of Techstars. “We’re fueling the Detroit entrepreneurial ecosystem with startups from around the world.”

Techstars’ graduating class and presenters at this year’s Demo Day are:

  • Acerta — Operating as an enterprise platform, Acerta uses machine learning to detect anomalies and predict failures in real time for automotive vehicles coming off the assembly line or being driven.
  • Algocian — The startup offers an edge-computing platform that uses deep learning to make cameras “smart.”
  • Braiq — In an effort to personalize ride experience in autonomous vehicles, Braiq teaches artificial intelligence how to better read human emotions.
  • Cargo — With a working relationship in place with Ford, Cargo is an in-car marketplace for the ride-sharing economy where drivers earn more money and improve their riders’ experience by providing essential goods on-the-go.
  • Donut Media — The startup company offers media services to automotive enthusiasts.
  • Drive Spotter — A Nebraska-based company with plans to open a Detroit office, Drive Spotter offers a machine-learning platform that trains human drivers and autonomous vehicles for enterprise fleets.
  • GoKid — The company offers a carpool solution for schools, teams, and active families, and is working with 10 Detroit-area schools.
  • HAAS Alert — The company’s mobile vehicle-to-vehicle platform delivers preemptive notifications to motorists.
  • Hero — Serving as an enterprise platform to reduce insurers’ liability from drunk driving, Hero provides bars and restaurants with a mobile solution that incentivizes customers to get home safely. The company has plans to work on smart city technology for Detroit, and has formed a working relationship with Ford.
  • Rally — Operating as a marketplace for connecting groups, event-goers, and commuters for crowd-powered transportation, Rally is working with the Detroit Pistons to make it easier for people to get to upcoming games this winter.
  • Spatial — The startup, which has also formed a working relationship with Ford, offers a location API that uses artificial intelligence to answer questions “only a local would know.”
  • Voyhoy — The company offers customers a multimodal booking platform that helps people save time and money when traveling long distances across bus, plane, train, ferry, and rideshare in Latin America.

Washington, D.C.-based Mapbox and Portland-based Polysync, which are both mentors and supporters of the Techstars program, are also opening offices in Detroit.

More than 1,200 people from 12 different countries around the world have registered to attend Demo Day, including 275 investors and representatives from more than 50 different automotive-related companies. Techstars Mobility 2016 Demo Day is the largest single-day startup event in Michigan. Since 2015, Techstars has invested in and brought 22 startups from around the world to downtown Detroit.

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