Volkswagen’s incubator programme goes into its next round: innovative mobility start-ups wanted

  • Website open for registration from 28 September onwards
  • 200 days from innovative idea to market readiness
  • Spring programme will start in March 2018

Dresden – Volkswagen supports innovative business ideas on the topic the mobility of the future. That is why the start-up incubator programme is kicking off its second round. Starting today, the Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden invites young entrepreneurs to apply for the second round, the 2018 spring session, with their innovative mobility ideas. In coordination with the Office for Economic Development of the State Capital of Dresden and the Ideation Hub of Volkswagen Group IT, Volkswagen is looking for companies in the future-oriented fields of fleet management, car-sharing, concierge and navigation/park services, and smart home services. The website ( will be active today from 11 a.m. for registration. New start-ups can apply here. The aim is for start-ups to develop their ideas into market-ready concepts directly at the Gläserne Manufaktur.

Two pitches will take place for the 2018 spring session – one at the annual international microelectronics event SEMICON EUROPE in Munich (15 November) and a second one at the Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden (4 December). As of today, young start-ups have four weeks (until 25 October) to submit their ideas on the mobility of the future. The incubator is open to start-ups from around the world.

The chosen start-ups will then present their mobility ideas in a pitch, each lasting ten minutes long, in both Munich and Dresden. A panel of experts will select the best five or six ideas and teams for the 2018 spring session. The start-ups will then move into the Gläserne Manufaktur in March 2018 for 200 days. After three months, the teams will have to present their first results. If these are convincing, the start-ups will develop their ideas in Dresden until they are ready for the market. In autumn 2018, five further companies will move into the factory.

“The new start-up incubator sharpens Dresden’s profile as a hub for high-tech start-ups and has already developed a magnetic effect. With it, we are sending a strong signal from Dresden – to start-ups and investors from around the world,” says Dr Robert Franke, Head of the Office for Economic Development of the State Capital of Dresden.

The start-ups are located right at the heart of the factory, which is the production department for the new e-Golf*. “We believe our unique selling point is that we open doors to experts and decision makers in the Volkswagen Group – and are thus able to accelerate the implementation of innovative start-up concepts,” says Marco Weiß, Head of New Mobility & Innovations at Gläserne Manufaktur.

“We will open relevant software interfaces of our models, so that the start-ups are able to try out their ideas on, in or with a vehicle or with visitors to the Gläserne Manufaktur. Our philosophy is that the start-up teams focus on their ideas and their individual expertise. We take care of the rest,” says Lars Dittert, Head of Gläserne Manufaktur.

Regarding the programme: The incubator programme is aimed at students and researchers interested in establishing new projects. An important part of the programme is the financial and non-financial support:

  •  The teams will receive – €15,000 each
  •  The Gläserne Manufaktur will also offer support from coaches, such as experts from the SpinLab (the HHL Accelerator programme of the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management)
  •  An attractive work environment in the factory
  •  IT infrastructure
  •  Contact with Volkswagen’s researchers, developers and decision makers
  •  Professional advice from the Development Bank of Saxony
  •  Project management
  •  Proximity to the start-up scene and financial and personal support from the state capital of Dresden, with accommodation, for example

Press contact
Volkswagen Saxony
Gläserne Manufaktur
Dr. Carsten Krebs
Head of communication
Tel: +49 351 420-4245
Mobile: +49 173-2658158

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* e-Golf: Power consumption in kWh/100 km: 14.1 combined (17-inch) - 13,2 (16-inch); CO2 emissions in g/km: 0 (combined); efficiency class: A+