On March 20, Renault and RCI Bank and Services became partners of Techstars, the globally known American startup accelerator that recently opened a branch in Paris. This open innovation initiative is continuing Groupe Renault’s culture of partnerships and a key component of an innovation ecosystem. Our aim with this partnership is to discover and support entrepreneurs and ideas with strong potential in the areas of new mobilities, connected services, and autonomous vehicles.
After creating 27 startup accelerators in the United States and Africa, Techstars has opened a branch in Paris at Partech Shaker, an incubator founded in 2014 by the investment fund Partech Ventures. Techstars is partnering in this initiative with Air Liquide, Groupama, Française Des Jeux, Total, and Groupe Renault.
Renault, RCI Bank and services, and Techstars: a joint, open innovation initiative
Innovation is a strategic priority for Renault and RCI Bank and Services. In order to stay at the leading edge and continuously innovate, we develop partnerships and expand the innovation ecosystem. Partnering with Techstars Paris offers us the opportunity to work with a team recognized for its success in identifying and supporting startups.
The objective is to meet exceptional entrepreneurs and to discover and support the development of ideas with strong potential. It will enable us to anticipate growth opportunities, for the future of mobility so we can offer our customers the best service possible.
This partnership with Techstars Paris contribute to the overall open innovation process of Renault and RCI Bank and Services. It will also challenge us to try out and adopt new, more agile and innovative working methods.
An ambitious accelerator program to identify startups that can help us meet mobility challenges
The application period for startups opened on March 20, 2017 and will close on June 19. Techstars will then select the participants in late July, and the 13-week program will begin on September 11, led by members of the Techstars team and prominent mentors like William Shu, founder of Deliveroo and Mike Hudack, director of product management at Facebook. The selected startups will work closely with partners on the key issues they have expressed so as to test and then implement the proposed innovative solutions. Renault and RCI Bank and Services have chosen to prioritize subjects related to new mobility solutions, autonomous vehicles, and connected services.
“For Renault, innovation is a key strategic driver. Our participation in the Techstars Paris program is an opportunity to pursue and expand our culture of partnership. We want not only to discover and support entrepreneurs and ideas with strong potential, but also to foresee more clearly the opportunities for growth offered by new mobilities, connected services, and autonomous vehicles,” says Nadine Alibert-Frégeac, Business Development - Venture Corporate Manager, Groupe Renault.
“Partnering with Techstars Paris is a valuable way to develop new synergies and, why not, new business relations with entrepreneurs who can help us develop new products and services that will satisfy our customers’ new needs,” says Jean-Christophe Labarre, head of Innovation & Partnerships.
 Open Innovation : innovation process in which the company is no longer “closed” on itself but instead open on a variety of other external actors (partners, start-ups, universities …) or internal ones
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