BMW Group Financial Services has launched an Innovation Lab to attract start-up companies with disruptive technologies that can speed up development of new financial services products.
Designed specifically to discover new technologies that can help deliver new and improved services to its customers, the company’s initiative is the first of its kind in the automotive financial services sector.
It is run in partnership with L Marks, a corporate innovation specialist and investment fund.
Applications are now being invited and start-up companies have until July 31 to submit their application on the Innovation Lab website www.bmwinnovationlab.co.uk.
Mike Dennett, BMW Group Financial Services’ UK chief executive, said: “The Innovation Lab provides a great opportunity for us to get a different perspective on our business and generate new ideas more quickly.
“It is a very different approach and one which will allow us to explore customer-focused initiatives from young, energetic and talented small companies while at the same time offering them the chance to gain exposure to a range of experienced mentors and potential investors.”
Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur and Chairman of L Marks, said: “Innovation Lab is an unprecedented opportunity for promising start-ups to get access to a leading provider of automotive finance and insurance products and solutions, BMW Group Financial Services in the UK.
I believe that this kind of intense engagement with the company over a 10-week period will enable start-ups to build a deep and meaningful relationship with the brand and develop their products and services in a unique environment. By opening their doors to start-ups, BMW Group Financial Services will be getting access to new ideas and ways of working that will have a real impact on their business."
Successful start-ups taking part in the Innovation Lab will have access financial product validation and testing opportunities with UK experts and customers, mentorship from the UK leadership team, access to investors at L Marks and a network of industry experts, free office space located at the company’s head office in Farnborough, and an education programme based on the Disciplined Entrepreneurship method from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In addition, access to fundraising support from the L Marks investment team will be made available as well as the opportunity to pitch for investment from this fund at any point during the programme. BMW Group Financial Services in the UK will not take a minimum equity stake for participation.