With cities facing increasing traffic congestion and environmental concerns, automotive companies are in a unique position to work with governments and regulators to address these issues.
Hong Kong-based auto brand Infiniti is taking up the challenge, backing a 12-week accelerator program to unearth ideas in the areas of smart cities, hardware, manufacturing, transportation, technology and entrepreneurship.
Dubbed the Infiniti Accelerator, the program launches in partnership with investment group Nest to find startup companies committed innovative ideas for future smart cities.
Up to eight startups will be selected to receive support from Infiniti and Nest, which includes mentorship and access to resources at Infiniti and Nest. At the end of the 12-week program, they will have the opportunity to pitch their business for funding and partnership at an exclusive Investor Demo Day.
“Infiniti is at the forefront of technologies such as connectivity, autonomous driving, and new energy vehicles that provide solutions for future urban mobility,” said Infiniti president Roland Krueger.
“By working with Nest and innovative startup companies, we are looking to further collaborate with urban developers on smart city ideas that can improve people’s quality of life in a sustainable way.”
With its global headquarters in Hong Kong, Infiniti has particularly close ties to the city.
Nest CEO Simon Squibb said in Hong Kong and throughout the region, urban communities are developing at an unrivalled pace.
"As a consequence, we are already experiencing many of the problems associated with this phenomenal pace of growth and want to take a leadership role in solving them. Our partnership with Infiniti is a perfect strategic fit for Hong Kong to develop a future lead in Smart City technologies,” he said.