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MAHLE Opens Start-Up Space For New Business Ideas

Incubator and start-ups are key elements of MAHLE’s innovation strategy.

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MAHLE is opening a Start-Up Space in Stuttgart, Germany, for its corporate start-ups and teams developing novel business concepts in the Incubator. Since 2017, the Incubator has been an established group-wide program supporting the development of new business ideas and a key part of MAHLE’s innovation strategy. Through the program, which transforms promising business propositions into their own start-ups, MAHLE offers employees the opportunity to continue their professional development, take an entrepreneurial approach, and try out new ways of working. The Start-Up Space will provide a workplace for start-ups chargeBIG and Com4Kids, which are already established on the market. Additional teams are expected to join them in the fall once they have successfully completed their incubation phase.

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“Our Incubator activities are a crucial element of our innovation strategy,” explained Dr. Jörg Stratmann, CEO and chairman of the MAHLE Management Board. “We’re consistently investing in the development of new business ideas in order to play an active role in shaping the transformation and position MAHLE for future success. Encouraging the talents and entrepreneurial spirit of our workforce plays a key part.” 

Incubator tests out new business ideas quickly 

“In addition to our conventional approach to product innovation, we’ve opened up a new way of diversifying the group’s range of products and services through business model innovations via the Incubator,” said Head of Corporate Planning Jochen Adelmann, who is responsible for the MAHLE Incubator. “The Incubator allows us to test product ideas directly on the market quickly, flexibly and at low cost. In our new Start-Up Space, we are now bringing together all the program’s creative minds. The Start-Up Space will also act as a test laboratory, fostering agile methods and new forms of cooperation at MAHLE.” 

The new premises are located at MAHLE’s group headquarters in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Germany. Thanks to the open-plan design of the office, with areas intended for meetings and quiet creativity, teams will be able to interact more closely and learn from each other. 

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chargeBIG is a system for charging electric vehicles efficiently 

chargeBIG is one of the two start-ups that emerged from the first MAHLE Incubator in 2017. The start-up has developed a scalable intelligent charging solution for electric vehicles that are left in a parking lot all day or for long periods. The system supplies electricity to as many parking spaces as possible at the lowest cost possible with the result that 20 to 100 – or more – vehicles can be charged at one location at the same time. By utilizing the available energy infrastructure intelligently, the level of investment and installation effort are kept to a minimum. This makes chargeBIG the ideal solution for fleet operators, office buildings, and large residential complexes. The MAHLE start-up is therefore making an important contribution toward the widespread establishment of e-mobility. 

Com4Kids ensures the thermal comfort of our youngest passengers 

Com4Kids uses MAHLE’s many years of experience in thermal management to solve an everyday problem for families: lots of children either sweat or freeze in their car seats. Com4Kids has developed an intelligent solution for baby carriers and child’s car seats so that little ones can enjoy a comfortable temperature whatever the season, with natural cooling thanks to ventilation in the summer and pleasant warmth in the winter. In the long-term, the start-up also aims to bring climate-controlled products for other applications onto the market. 

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MAHLE Incubator program a successful cradle for corporate start-ups

Since the group’s internal Incubator program launched in 2017, around 250 employees have taken part from more than 20 countries in Europe and China, and several hundred ideas have been developed. At the end of 2020, the successful teams participating in the current round of the Incubator project in Europe will also move into the new Start-Up Space. 

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