€2.1m fund created for autonomous start-ups

By 2020 the connected car market is expected to be worth €141bn, with 220 million connected cars on the roads.

The help the industry prepare, IMPACT Accelerator is launching the first call of IMPACT Connected Car, a new programme led by FundingBox and ISDI. With a fund of €2.1m, IMPACT Connected Car will help SMEs and start-ups make the most of this business opportunity.

It will identify companies that will lead the creation of new value link-chains in the Connected Car OpenSpace, with vehicle, infrastructure and device interactions as well as consumer and business services.

IMPACT Connected Car is funded by the European Commission, under the INNOSUP Initiative. It builds on the legacy and expertise of the IMPACT Accelerator, which invested over €7m in 78 start-ups from 2014 to 2017.

The current open call will be receiving applications from connected car start-ups and SMEs until 10 January. During this period numerous information days will be organised across Europe, as well as online, in order to give applicants a deeper understanding of the programme and the application process.

By March 2018, the best 13 companies will be selected to enter the three-stage smartization programme, upon the completion of which they will receive up to €60,000 equity free funding. Top performing start-ups will have the opportunity to receive additional private funding of up to €200,000 from participating venture capital funds.

Funding will go hand-in-hand with a high-performance training programme in which renowned experts and international entrepreneurs will deliver practical classes across connected car hubs and partners facilities. In addition, entrepreneurs will have access to an international network of more than 100 recognised mentors, founders, and investors who are experts in different key areas of knowledge, both in the digital sector and in the automotive industry.