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Volkswagen Group of America launches technology startup accelerator at Plug and Play Tech Center

Volkswagen Group of America Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) and Plug and Play Tech Center have launched the Volkswagen ERL Technology Accelerator Powered by Plug and Play. The new Silicon Valley-based program is designed to accelerate 10 select startups from various industries to help develop next-generation technologies that can be applied in the automotive domain.

Participating companies will receive access to the investors, corporations, and mentors within the Plug and Play network, exposure at Plug and Play events, regular educational seminars, and office space. The program is currently accepting applications from technology startups in several areas including; social media/recommendation engines; vehicle-related mobile device integration; parking apps; detection apps; display/data integration; voice/sound recognition; and visual computing.

We are looking for innovative products that can change the way we interact and function in the vehicle. As a third room, after home and office, we feel the functionality and the interaction between vehicle and human will enhance the driving experience.

—Plug and Play Tech Center Founder and CEO, Saeed Amidi

Volkswagen Group’s Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) located in Belmont, California represents the Group’s applied research and development initiatives in North America. With a focus on advanced technology, the ERL’s mission is to develop innovations for future generations of vehicles with the goal of transferring technologies from many industries into the automotive domain. The ERL was established in August of 1998 with three employees and today has grown to become the Volkswagen Group’s largest research facility outside of Germany employing approximately 100 engineers, social scientists, researchers, and product designers.

Plug and Play Tech Center is an accelerator specializing in growing technology startups. Headquartered in Sunnyvale California, Plug and Play’s global network includes more than 300 tech startups, 180 investors and a community of leading Universities and Corporate partners. Since its founding in 2006, Plug and Play startups have raised more than $1 billion in funding. In 2011 alone, Plug and Play’s startups raised more than $350 million and went through M&A valued in excess of $500 million.


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