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Techstars Mobility and NAIAS Announce Startup Applications Now Open for 2018 AutoMobili-D

2017 AutoMobili-D Startup Acerta Lands Contact with Global Supplier ZF Group and Raises $2M in Funding as a Result of Participation in Show

Sep 27, 2017

DETROIT, Sept. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in partnership with Techstars Mobility announced that applications are now open for startups to participate in the 2018 AutoMobili-D.

2017 North American International Auto Show attendees gather in AutoMobili-D to hear a keynote address from Carlos Ghosn, Chairman of the Board, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

"The feedback and business success stories we've heard from startups that participated in AutoMobili-D have been very inspiring," said Ryan LaFontaine, 2018 NAIAS Chairman. "This is what made AutoMobili-D such a critical addition to the North American International Auto Show and has provided us with limitless opportunities for future growth and business collaboration."

Interested startups can apply here via the NAIAS website. Startups that apply before October 31st receive a discounted rate of $499 versus the normal rate of $999.

"The worldwide response from startups that came to last year's AutoMobili-D blew me away," said Ted Serbinski, Managing Director of Techstars Mobility. "If you're building anything innovative in the automotive mobility industry, you're going to pass through Detroit at some point. AutoMobili-D is the perfect entry point for early-stage innovative startups to build up their network with key influencers and decision makers in the automotive mobility industry."

Startup Success Stories from 2017 AutoMobili-D

Nearly 50 startups participated from all around the globe, including the U.S., Canada, Dubai, London, and Portugal. The technologies included artificial intelligence and machine learning, to autonomous and connected platforms, to infrastructure communications and security applications.

One of those startups is Acerta, which offers an artificial intelligence platform for machine analytics that provides automakers and suppliers with automatic and real-time malfunction detection and failure prediction. At AutoMobili-D, founder Greta Cutulenco met ZF Group, one of the largest global suppliers. ZF Group soon became a key customer, which helped lead to Acerta raising a $2M seed round.

In addition, NAIAS and Techstars Mobility received feedback from startups stating they garnered significant customer leads and business development opportunities. Here are a few statements from the founders of the startups:

  • "It was a cream of the crop event. You can network more in four days at AutoMobili-D than in four years through other channels." — John Mohyi, CEO & Co-Founder, Mohyi Labs
  • "It was an amazing way for our company to not only get access to top players in the automotive industry but to actually talk with the top-level decision makers." — Jordan Warzecha, CEO & Co-Founder, Backstitch
  • "AutoMobili-D is a great place to get attention and build relationships with OEMs, tier 1 suppliers, investors & other autotech founders." — James Bellefeuille, Vugo
  • "Amazing opportunity to engage with leading automotive executives. We were amazed by the quality of the meetings." — Stefanie Lemke, CEO & Co-Founder, GoKid
  • "The show was really valuable for us because of the relationships we were able to foster. The BizDevDay meetings alone made the trip worthwhile." — Jon Harmer, COO & Co-Founder, LaaSer
  • "It was exactly what we needed." — Shiva Bhardwaj, CEO & Co-Founder, Pitstop
  • "Without a doubt one of the most important events to be a part of." — Evan Saunders, Head of Sales & Marketing, URB-E
  • "It was simply amazing. Being surrounded by other startups and tech companies in the AutoMobili-D space gave us a thorough understanding of what the future of the auto industry will look like." — Mohsen Mohsenpour, ShiftRide

AutoMobili-D Mobility Advisory Board

New for 2018 is the formation of the Mobility Advisory Board for AutoMobili-D. This advisory board will be helping to curate startups at AutoMobili-D, speaking on panels and keynote presentations, and lending support to continue to build the innovation bridge between Detroit and Silicon Valley.

Mobility Investors:

  • Reilly Brennan, General Partner, Trucks Venture Capital
  • Ernestine Fu, Partner, Alsop Louie Partners
  • Amy Gu, Managing Partner, Hemi Ventures
  • Mar Hershenson, Managing Partner, Pear VC
  • Mark Platshon, Managing Director, Icebreaker Ventures
  • Jim Scheinman, Founding Managing Partner, Maven Ventures
  • Ted Serbinski, Managing Director, Techstars Mobility
  • Chris Thomas, Founder and Partner, Fontinalis Partners
  • Marc Weiser, Managing Director, RPM Ventures

Mobility Founders:

  • Greta Cutulenco, CEO and Co-Founder, Acerta
  • Eric Gunderson, CEO, Mapbox
  • Josh Hartung, CEO and Co-Founder, PolySync
  • Diane Lansinger, CEO and Co-Founder, SEEVA
  • Daryn Nakhuda, CEO and Co-Founder, Mighty AI
  • Jake Sigal, CEO, Tome Software

Mobility Ecosystem:

  • Sven Beiker, Managing Director and Founder, Silicon Valley Mobility
  • Harry Campbell, CEO and Founder, The Rideshare Guy
  • Mark de la Vergne, Chief of Mobility Innovation, City of Detroit
  • Liz Keen, Head of Brand and Communications, Sherpa Capital
  • Trevor Pawl, Group Vice President, Planet M, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Gary Silberg, Partner, National Sector Lead Partner for Automotive Industry, KPMG
  • Glenn Stevens, Executive Director, MICHauto and Vice President of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives, Detroit Regional Chamber

About AutoMobili-D
The inaugural launch of AutoMobili-D in 2017 featured more than 180 brands, ranging from automakers to suppliers, to tech startups as well as universities and government organizations. From John Krafcik debuting the fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica, to Carlos Ghosn providing insights into Nissan's plans for a connected future, to Julia Steyn on Maven's outlook on urban mobility as a service, these great industry leaders and many others took the stage and delivered more than 40 hours of mobility-focused discussions and announcements. Nearly 110 speakers representing 100 different companies spoke on a variety of mobility-focused keynotes and panels. A detailed list of speakers and content can be found here. 2018 AutoMobili-D: January 14-21, 2018

About Techstars
Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed. Through the Techstars Worldwide Entrepreneur Network, founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates four divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and the Techstars Venture Capital Fund. Techstars Mobility is a Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Program part of Techstars. Techstars Mobility is the first North American accelerator focused on the future of transportation and mobility. Headquartered in downtown Detroit but investing worldwide in startups, Techstars Mobility has invested in 33 mobility startups since June 2015. www.techstars.com

About the North American International Auto Show
Now in its 30th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, technologies, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place. Administered by executive director Rod Alberts, the NAIAS is one of the largest media events in North America, and the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world. For more information, visit naias.com.

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2018 NAIAS Dates:
The Gallery – Saturday, January 13, 2018
AutoMobili-D – Sunday-Sunday, January 14-21, 2018
Press Preview – Sunday-Tuesday, January 14-16, 2018
Industry Preview – Wednesday-Thursday, January 17-18, 2018 
Charity Preview – Friday, January 19, 2018
Public Show – Saturday-Sunday, January 20-28, 2018

NAIAS Logo. (PRNewsFoto/North American International Auto Show)

SOURCE North American International Auto Show

For further information: Max Muncey, PR Manager, NAIAS, Email: mmuncey@dada.org, Phone: (248) 283-5139, Cell: (248) 763-6116

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