Car subscriptions, underwater drones & more: Techstars Mobility intros its 2017 Detroit class

DETROIT (WXYZ) - It's an organization here in Detroit dedicated to helping mobility startups flourish. 

Techstars Mobility, a branch of the Techstars Worldwide Entrepreneur Network, puts companies through a 90-day accelerator program each year, connecting entrepreneurs with mentors and possible future investors.

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Tehcstars has a number of initiatives around the world-- each with a different concentration. Here in Detroit, you could say the program's mobility emphasis is fitting for the Motor City. 

"The program here is focused on everything automotive, transportation and the future of mobility," said Ted Serbinki, managing director of Techstars Mobility. 

Serbinski stopped by Broadcast House this morning to talk about this year’s upcoming class of startups. He said Techstars Mobility received applications from companies across 52 countries this year. After an interview process, the candidate pool was whittled down and the 2017 class was solidified. 

From car subscriptions to smart city infrastructure to underwater drones, the 11 selected startups represent a variety of industries. 

"We really want to help these entrepreneurs succeed and we really want to transform the perception of Detroit and innovation," Serbinkski said of the program's goal.

He also says Silicon Valley has some entrepreneurial competition.  

"We really firmly believe that there's a lot of automotive dominance in this region -- huge entrepreneurial resurgence and if we bring entrepreneurs to Detroit and operate at that intersection, we can kind of change the perception of what can be built in Detroit and how these innovative companies can interface with all of Michigan," said Serbinski. 

The 2017 accelerator program kicks off on July 24 and culminates with an event that gives the entrepreneurs the chance  to show off technologies. Demo Day will be held on October 18 at the Detroit Film Theatre. The public is welcome to attend for free. Just sign up here. 

Check out the full list of companies below in the 2017 class: 

Busbot (New York City): Helps transportation companies optimize their supply decisions to better respond to consumer demand.

Carma (Washington DC): Monthly car subscriptions. An affordable monthly fee to drive any of our cars with insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance included.

cycuro (Tel Aviv, Israel): Protects mobility companies from cybersecurity threats to data, systems, and services.

 

Damon X Labs (Vancouver, Canada): Proactive sensor-driven safety systems for motorcycles.

Derq (Dubai, UAE): MIT spin-off with a mission to eliminate road accidents and save lives by using artificial intelligence and V2X communication technologies.

   

EcoG (Munich, Germany): Customized EV fast charging experience through a PaaS for value added services & shared revenue streams.

Fathom (Grand Rapids, MI): Future of underwater adventure through an affordable, easy to use, underwater drone.

Gridwise (Pittsburgh, PA): Peer-to-peer platform for on-demand drivers that improves their performance and overall driving experience.

SEEVA (Seattle, WA):

Visibility for mobility. Our ecosystem of patented technologies cleans windshields, LED headlights, cameras and sensors fast - so drivers don’t have to scrape or wipe.

 

Stealth Company (New York City): Moving people and things across the country.

Vartega (Golden, CO): Creates low-cost recycled carbon fiber for vehicle lightweighting to enable mobility solutions such as battery technology, connectivity, and autonomy.

 

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