Mercedes and Bosch push for new ideas around connectivity and big data

Some of Germany’s industrial titans have decided to partner up with the Berlin chapter of Europe’s Startupbootcamp accelerator, in the hope of stimulating fresh ideas in the fields of connectivity, mobility and big data.

Mercedes-Benz, Bosch and the industrial insurer HDI are all involved in the new partnership with Startupbootcamp, dubbed SBC2go. Cars will probably be a focus here: Mercedes-Benz is of course one of the world’s best-known car manufacturers, and parent company Daimler is behind the Car2Go car-sharing service — you may note a similarity in the naming of that and the accelerator partnership.

Bosch, meanwhile, may be a familiar name for power tool users, but it is also neck-deep in a variety of other areas, including machine-to-machine communications (sensors, smart packaging and so on) and automotive technology (drivetrains and networked infrastructure for electronic vehicles, to name but two specialties).

The SBC2go program should kick off in August. The 10 selected startups won’t have to already be in Berlin — which, after all, is generally known more for its ecommerce and consumer services — but they would have to move there for the duration of the program. Each will get €15,000 ($19,700) in investment.

“The brands will contribute some of their top talent to the mentor pool, open up their global innovation resources and networks, and support marketing efforts,” Startupbootcamp’s Alex Farcet wrote in a blog post. “In return, the brands access the Startupbootcamp open innovation movement driven by early stage, nimble startups which are usually below the radar of global companies.”