Volkswagen has launched a start-up incubator programme in Dresden in the ‘Transparent Factory’, its exhibition space and former manufacturing facility.

The programme will bring together six teams and gives them 200 days to use their ideas to develop mobility products and services to a market-ready level.

Volkswagen Group IT Ideation:Hub and SpinLab, an accelerator programme from HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, will join Volkswagen’s mobility experts to run the programme. The city of Dresden will also provide financial support.

The six start-ups will work from two floors of the Transparent Factory for six months, and be assessed after three months. If Volkswagen finds the progress convincing they will stay and develop their ideas until they are ready for the market. Each start-up will be given €15,000 (£13,411) in financial support from Volkswagen Saxony. At the start of 2018, more teams will move into the Transparent Factory.

The start-ups range from car sharing businesses, to data analytics companies, and even advertising. CarlundCarla is a corporate car sharing company from Dresden which has begun to develop its car sharing model to include fleet management.

Geospin, a big data analytics start-up which spun out of the University of Freiburg’s Smart City research group, wants to use navigation and movement profiles to determine optimal locations for charging stations and car sharing.

Nuremberg’s Smart City System has a sensor system to identify free parking spaces and navigate drivers to them. Through the incubator the start-up wants to develop the system and set it up in Dresden.

LoyalGo, a Dortmund-based start-up, has developed digital advertising columns for electric charging stations, and aims to introduce them in Dresden. Ekoio, based in Leipzig uses cloud-based vehicle data provided through telematics to assess driving behaviour.

Berlin-based Tretbox aims to provide a fleet of electric-powered tricycles for parcel delivery, and hopes to develop its prototype in the Transparent Factory. Through the incubator, Tretbox aims to gain marketing support, and plans for a future model of its ‘electro-tricycle’ to be autonomous.

Volkswagen will offer support from mentors and coaches, IT infrastructure, and contact with its researchers, developers, and decision-makers. Start-ups will have access to the Development Bank of Saxony, and financial and person support from the city of Dresden.