Drive TLV, a startup-development organization based in Israel, has added Denso Corp. ot its list of major corporate partners.
In addition to Denso, Drive partners include Honda, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group, NEC Corp., Cox Automotive and Hertz. Drive TLV has helped more than 40 mobility-focused startups raise a total of more than $1 billion to develop and commercialize new technologies since 2017.
Drive’s innovation-hub partners can participate in its FastLane program for startups. They also have access to the POWER by Drive test track and development center for testing, evaluation and further development of new technology.
FastLane offers a unique combination of mentoring and training for high-tech mobility startups. The intense five-month commercialization program includes bi-weekly sessions with a team of financial and technology experts, a CEO forum that includes key industry leaders and ongoing face-to-face meetings with Drive’s corporate and private-equity partners.
Last year, Denso invested nearly 10 percent of its annual revenue in research and development globally. A Denso Israel Innovation Lab opened in 2018.
“We have conducted more than 20 proof-of-concept programs with Israeli startups in the past three years alone,” said Ifushi Shimonomoto, the head of Denso’s lab in Israel. “In partnership with Drive we plan to accelerate our collaboration with high-tech startups to further our vision for a greener, safer mobility future.”
Headquartered in Kariya, Japan, Denso is a Fortune 500 company with more than 170,000 employees working in more than 35 countries. Many of its research and development programs focus on electrification and autonomous-vehicle technologies.
Itay Erel, Drive TLV’s CEO, explained that Drive’s commercialization process introduces corporate partners such as Denso with operations in Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific region to entrepreneurs with a broad range of never-before-imagined technology.
He noted that Drive’s FastLane program will be expanded next year to include startup companies in Europe and North America. The Drive umbrella also will be extended to cover smart-mobility technologies in other mobility-related business sectors, including the logistics, insurance and energy industries.
“The concept of mobility is constantly evolving,” Erel pointed out. “The goal of carrying people or goods from one place to another is no longer strictly an automotive challenge. Global collaboration from within multiple industries is required to meet today’s smart mobility challenges.”
He said that FastLane alumni include Hailo, Foretellix, Arbe Robotics and Tactile Mobility — all four involved in autonomous-vehicle technology and sensors. Other FastLane participants have included Addionic and Apollo Power, both centered on sustainability and electrification, and UVeye, a provider of automated inspection systems for the auto industry.
More information about Drive TLV is available at www.drivetlv.com.