BMW Group Financial Services (BMW FS) has launched an Innovation Lab in the UK to allow early-stage start-up companies to partner with it.

The Lab is being run in partnership with corporate innovation investment fund L Marks, and has been designed to discover new companies looking to bring disruptive technologies to the industry.

Applications to the Innovation Lab are open until 31 July. BMW said it plans to choose up to five from these which will join the lab.

The successful applicants to the Lab will gain access to:
– Financial product validation and testing opportunities with UK experts and customers
– Mentorship from the UK leadership team
– Access to investors at L Marks
– Access to network of industry experts
– Free office space located at the company’s head office in Farnborough, Hampshire
– An education programme based on the Disciplined Entrepreneurship method from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mike Dennet, chief executive officer at BMW FS, UK, said: "Innovation Lab provides a great opportunity for us to get a different perspective on our business and generate new ideas more quickly. It is a very different approach and one which will allow us to explore customer-focused initiatives from young, energetic and talented small companies while at the same time offering them the chance to gain exposure to a range of experienced mentors and potential investors."