Infiniti Motor Company has unveiled a new Infiniti Lab initiative in Hong Kong to connect international entrepreneurs with local startups, corporate partners and Infiniti executives to accelerate the innovation cycle and find new ways of doing business.
The Infiniti Lab initiative first kicked off in 2015, and has helped drive cultural transformation and open innovation not only within the startup community, but within Infiniti itself. To date it has accelerated 46 start-ups from around the world, not including the eight advanced-stage startups who will participate in the new Hong Kong lab via the 12-week Infiniti Lab Accelerator Program, in partnership with Nest.
The startups include PassKit (Hong Kong), Yimian (Mainland China), Apostera (Germany), Autobahn (Estonia), Brisk Synergies (Canada), SmartTones Media (Canada), Drive Motors (USA) and OviDrive (Australia).
Infiniti Lab will host an ongoing collaboration program, launched on Tuesday, with the Open Innovation Workshop that features partners including (but not limited to) Hysan Development, Li & Fung, MTR Corp, Shanghai Tang, Swire Properties and The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels.
Infiniti will host monthly workshops and hackathons at the Infiniti Lab space, and grant exclusive access to mentors and industry partners across multiple verticals to help entrepreneurs.
The start-ups cover a variety of industry sectors and technologies, some of which don’t necessarily relate directly to Infiniti’s auto business, but that doesn’t mean Infiniti isn’t benefiting from running its own incubation lab, said Dane Fisher, GM of Global Transformation and Brand at Infiniti.
“By continuing to collaborate and exchange ideas with the start-up community, we continue to hone our mindset and uncover new growth opportunities,” Fisher said. “Our collaboration with start-ups has unlocked internal innovation and ‘intrepreneurship’, helping to transform corporate culture at Infiniti in ways not possible before.”
Fisher added that Infiniti’s strategy to stay ahead in the digital transformation race is to “look outwards beyond our own key business functions and partner our people with start-ups and progressive thinkers to build an ecosystem where open innovation can truly happen.”
The eight start-ups are grouped into three broad industry categories:
Apostera develops augmented reality software for vehicles.
Brisk Synergies uses automated video analytics to analyse road safety issues
OviDrive says it has developed automated vehicle management software powered by AI and machine learning.
Autobahn is an end-to-end vehicle sales platform that digitalizes the supply chain and streamlines sales processes.
PassKit is a mobile wallet management platform that enables enterprises to personalize O2O customer experiences.
Yimian has developed a real-time data analytics solution for the automotive and FMCG sectors.
Drive Motors specializes in developing better e-commerce experiences for auto dealers, enabling customers to order, finance, lease and pick up their car directly via the dealer’s website.
SmartTones Media has developed a platform that can accurately measure broadcast audiences in real time and engage them with context-driven ads, offers and points.