The move is part of Toyota Motor Europe’s ambition to expand beyond the automotive sector. “Toyota Open Labs is one of the tools to help us on our transition from an automotive to a mobility company,” Nicola Dallatana, Senior Manager New Mobility and Connected Car at Toyota Motor Europe, told Zag Daily.
Toyota Open Labs launches with an open call for startups ready to commercialise their ideas across five key categories: energy, circular economy, carbon-neutral technologies, smart communities, and mobility for all initiatives.
“Solving mobility and sustainability challenges are critical issues that deserve to be on the world’s biggest stages,” said George Kellerman, VP of Investments and Acquisitions at Woven by Toyota and Managing Director of Woven Capital, Toyota’s growth-stage venture fund.
“Europe’s vibrant innovation ecosystem in these areas presents immense potential, and we are excited to partner with startups to help transform their exciting early-stage ventures into scalable solutions.”
The nine month programme is designed to support startups to scale up through exposure to global expertise across the Toyota ecosystem. Selected startups will engage with a diverse network of advisors and mentors to enhance their business strategies and investment opportunities. They will create a Proof of Concept alongside Toyota, and investigate pathways for market entry by joining forces with the Toyota network.
Dallatana said: “Compared to previous programmes and other accelerators, this programme is more customised to meet the unique needs of startups. The objective is to help them be successful and take the next step in their growth.”
Toyota Open Labs states it is seeking ambitious entrepreneurs and growth-stage and scale-up companies in any of the 27 European Member states, the Horizon 2020 Associated Countries and the United Kingdom. Each startup must commit at least one full-time team member to the programme, which will consist of virtual and in-person events hosted in English.
Each startup will also have the chance to present their technology at a Demo Day scheduled during the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.