Startups win $100,000 from Mercedes-Benz Innovation Challenge

Startups win $100,000 from Mercedes-Benz Innovation Challenge

Two startups will receive $50,000 after their pitches in the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Innovation Challenge on Tuesday. The event pitted nine companies putting forward ideas through the ideation accelerator known as Urban Engine, and - get this! - the purpose was to improve efficiency at Mercedes-Benz's Vance manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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Startups Pitch Their Ideas to the 2018 MBUSI Innovation Challenge!

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Mercedes-Benz opened its doors to firms from around the world to dream up solutions to challenges on the factory floor. After qualifying their ideas with Urban Engine, engineers and innovators came back to pitch and validate their own ideas during the MBUSI Innovation Challenge Competition!

MBUSI President Jason Hoff said the company decided to take a different approach this time in tackling problem areas around the plant. The idea was to turn lose minds that aren't normally engaged in automotive manufacturing and see what happened.

"This year, (the IT department) came forward and said there's a lot of great companies out there with really cool ideas. Let's present our challenges and see what comes back. It's a new approach for us," Hoff said. "We purposely left the challenges pretty vague and the rest is up to them."

  • Drones that inventory.

  • Augmented reality glasses giving instructions to workers.

  • Artificial intelligence solutions.

  • More efficient lunch breaks.

It was a unique opportunity, said Rahul Chipalkatty, the founder and CEO of Southie, a Boston-based company. Southie came with a pitch on how to deploy robots in logistics centers for smaller, more specialized tasks that may be needed for short periods of time.

Those are a few of the ideas pitched tonight at Mercedes-Benz's Innovation Challenge, a startup competition staged this evening at the Vance plant's training center. Teams were split into startup companies and student & professional groups. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners of the challenge.

Read the full story on AL.com

Startups, professionals and students invited to submit ideas for “Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Innovation Challenge” [Tuscaloosa Chamber]

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI), Urban Engine, STARTUP AUTOBAHN, and The University of Alabama have formed a strategic partnership to launch the “MBUSI Innovation Challenge.” The initiative is aimed at engaging Alabama’s thriving college and professional startup community to tackle critical challenges faced in automotive production flow management, big data efficiencies, and digital communications. 

The MBUSI Innovation Challenge seeks to inspire creativity in the automotive sector through collaboration and energize current and next-generation startups and problem-solvers to build innovative solutions using creative business strategies, software development, and technology.

Student challenge participants stand to win a cash price of $5,000, while startups could win their share of up to $50,000 for incubation support, international exposure, and the chance to become a supplier for MBUSI or MBUSI’s parent company, Daimler AG. 

“Innovation is born when you combine a creative solution with the knowledge to execute on it and the necessary data to prove it works,” said MBUSI President and CEO, Jason Hoff. “Innovation is the key to addressing the complex challenges we face every day in an advanced manufacturing environment as we strive to improve quality and efficiency of our processes and systems. Our hope is this Challenge will attract the best and brightest students and startups to the automotive industry to apply their insights and know-how to help drive continuous improvement to help us maintain our competitive advantage.” 

Read the full story on tuscaloosachamber.org.

The EDGE 2018 Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Innovation Challenge [GAN]

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI). Innovation Challenge is an opportunity to engage Alabama’s thriving college and professional startup community to take on critical challenges faced in production flow management, big data efficiencies, and digital communications using creative business strategy, software development and technology solutions.

Our goal is to inspire creativity with vehicle manufacturing and all of its glory through collaboration, and energetic current- and next-generation startups with aspiring and professional problem-solvers to build innovative solutions with Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.

Urban Engine has partnered with Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. to develop technical challenges for students and professionals as competition participants. There will be prizes, online workshops, on-site facility field trip visit, and an opportunity to engage with Daimler leadership.

Read the full story on gan.co.