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April 2024: Startup Masterclass

In April, together with the EcoMotion Community, we held our first seminar for startups on best practices for successful collaboration with an automotive OEM.In a room full of Israeli entrepreneurs, our colleagues from Volkswagen Group of America Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC), Bentley Motors and the Konnect team shared insights about internal processes, best practices, and important tips to get from one stage to another in the challenging development process. From initial contact with Volkswagen Group Innovation, through identifying the right stakeholders in the brand, to the intricacies of being nominated for an RFQ – we explored critical steps and processes necessary for effective collaboration with the Volkswagen Group.

April 2024: Israeli Ambassador visits Wolfsburg

In April Maayan Ekstein our COO was honored to take part in the visit of the Israeli Ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor, at the Volkswagen Group HQ in Wolfsburg where he met Oliver Blume - CEO of the VW Group, Thomas Steg - Head of Group External Relations, and Nikolai Ardey - Head of VW Group Innovation. During his visit, Maayan presented successful collaborations of the Volkswagen Group with top Israeli companies such as Mobileye, Innoviz and Cymotive, and commercial collaborations with Israeli startups led by Konnect, such as Apollo Power, Spinframe, Mappo, Refresh Global and more.The Ambassador also paid a visit to the Autostadt, the VW Group museum and visitors center, where he was greeted by TEMI, the Israeli service robot which is currently welcoming visitors in the Autostadt Piazza.This important visit emphasizes the ongoing commitment and support of our Group to the Israeli market and tech ecosystem.

March 2024: Autotech Israel Meetup

In March, we had the pleasure of hosting the vibrant Autotech Israel community in our offices.The group, initiated by Alon Atsmon, brings together Israeli entrepreneurs, CEOs, investors, and industry experts from the automotive sector. It was a valuable opportunity for us to meet face-to-face and exchange ideas on the developments and future of the Israeli Automotive ecosystem.Alon, shared about the community's growth and how strong-relationships have fueled successes in the automotive field. Jennifer Schwarz, the Director of the EcoMotion Community, shared insights on how the Israeli automotive ecosystem has transitioned from a startup phase to the scale-up phase, highlighting Israeli companies' role as direct suppliers to automotive OEMs. Our COO, Maayan Ekstein, provided an overview of the Volkswagen Group activities in Israel, touching on strategic focus areas and how startups can effectively partner with large OEMs.

November 2023: Group Innovation Roundtable Prague

On the 29th and 30th of November, Group Innovation, Group IT, and Group Production Innovation together with the brands Audi, Seat/CUPRA, and Skoda hosted a roundtable about Innovation management and the newest technologies. Konnect attended with Hemdat Sagi, our Managing Director giving a keynote presentation and David Order, Technology Scouting and Business Development Manager. We shared with colleagues our ‘Lessons Learned in 5 Years of Innovation’ and exchanged on current technologies and Group initiatives.

August 2023: Future Mobility Days

Future Mobility Days (FMD) is the yearly internal exhibition by Volkswagen Group Innovation,showcasing ongoing innovation and R&D projects on various strategic topics.In August, our team travelled to Germany to attend the annual FMD, that took place in Ehra.This year Konnect featured six projects, at FMD, in the fields of Autonomous driving, Sustainability and sensors. We look forward to FMD 2024!

May 2023: Konnect Celebrated 5 Years of Innovation and a Special Announcement

On May 23rd, during Ecomotion week, Konnect marked a special milestone - 5 years of Innovation achievements since our launch in 2018 in Israel! Our team was happy to celebrate this special occasion with over 150 of our partners, startups, and many colleagues from the Group. The event gave an excellent opportunity to say thank you to all the great supporters and partners we met throughout these 5 years. Dr. Astrid Wollenberg, who will finish her term as MD of Konnect in the summer, announced that the VW Group Board nominated Hemdat Sagi, our Chief of Strategy & Business Development, as the next MD of Konnect starting August 1st, 2023. We look forward to our next chapter and to achieving more great milestones!

January 2023: Group Innovation Global hub Workshop in Israel

From the 13th to the 15th of February, Konnect hosted the heads of Group Innovation global locations worldwide. After three long years of not meeting face-to-face, our team was excited to host our colleagues from California, Knoxville, Wolfsburg, Singapore, Beijing, and Tokyo. The goal of the workshop was to get updated on new strategic topics and projects of Group Innovation, discuss how to collaborate internally, and share best practices on scouting, PoC, and technical developments. The visit included a round table discussion about the Corporate-Startups relationship, with our partners from Porsche, SEAT, and some of the leading Konnect portfolio startups.

Konnect & CorrActions Test Day

In May 2022, during EcoMotion Community Week, the Israeli startup CorrActions, won the Konnect- Cariad Startup Challenge and received funding for a full PoC. The PoC was conducted three months later by the Konnect team in Israel and showed promising results. CorrActions is developing an advanced noninvasive brain-computer interface software platform. The platform reads subconscious movements to deduce the cognitive state of a person. The Konnect- Cariad POC validated the ability of the technology to identify driving under the influence by using existing vehicle sensors. The POC took place in a test track with 10 drivers who drove a Volkswagen AG test car, equipped with the CorrActions technology. To learn more about our test, check out the movie!

Konnect showcasing for the first time at IZB 2022

For the first time, Konnect hosted a live Startup stage at IZB- the biggest supplier's exhibition of VW Group, attended by 42,000 people. On stage,  Dr. Astrid Wollenberg presented the unique open innovation model of Konnect and invited six incredible Israeli startups who work closely with Konnect. The team was also proud to visit one of its successful innovation projects with Apollo- a great example of a startup that became a direct supplier of VW Group brands. Visit the #izb2022 website to see Astrid's presentation & the startups' pitches.

PLANETech World: The First Climate Tech Conference in Israel

Konnect had the pleasure of partnering with the first Climate Tech conference in Israel, PLANETech, attended by 100 startups and hundreds of ecosystem leaders. Hemdat Sagi, Chief of Strategy and Business Development of Konnect, moderated a panel on Sustainable Mobility & Transportation. The panelists included industry experts who shared their views on the transformation and challenges of the Automotive sector to become a more sustainable and decarbonized industry. To watch the full panel click here.

Konnect & Cariad Startup Challenge 2022

Together with CARIAD, Konnect launched its 5th consecutive startup challenge, searching for solutions in Unsupervised Deep Neural Networks Training | AI Modules for ADAS & AD Segmentation | Driver's Health and well-being. The final startups pitch & winners announcement took place at the Ecomotion Week Innovation stage. CorrActions & LeddarTech both took first place. Each startup won 25,000€ funding from Konnect for a PoC with CARIAD.

Konnect – VWM Future Mobility Challenge

December 2021 A final pitching session, from 10 Israeli startups was held at the Konnect hub TLV, in front of a jury of the Konnect tech team, Porsche Digital, ŠKODA AUTO, and an expert team of VWN - who joined remotely. ADASKY & Right-Hear were the 2 winners, each receiving €25,000 for a PoC with VWN, sponsored by Konnect. Click to read more.

Konnect- Volkswagen Group Innovation Hub Tel Aviv

Join our journey – watch how we connect Israeli innovation to the Volkswagen Group

Future Mobility Days 2021

Konnect presented in the Future Mobility Days internal exhibition (FMD), which took place in Wolfsburg between June 28th-30th, 2021. The Konnect booth showcased six of its successful innovation projects with Israeli startups (with live demos): Carrar, Thermosiv, Jungo, Silentium, Inspekto & Temi.

Konnect Cyber workshop

In June 2021, we held a Cyber Risk workshop with Team8. The workshop explored the following topics: The need for transparency of disclosure and reporting cyber risks clearly | How to quantify cyber risk today | The organisational perspective of Cyber Risk. Speakers included: Adm. Mike Rogers, Former Director NSA, Bob Blakely, Team8 partner, Derek Vadala, CEO VisibleRisk, a Team8 JV with Moodys, former CISO of Moodys Claroty.

Konnect Virtual Learning Journey

As part of its mission to drive Innovation culture into the VW Group Konnect held a virtual learning journey (July 2021) with participants from Audi, Bentley, & Traton Group. The learning journey gave a  deep dive into the Israeli innovation landscape & what makes it a Startup Nation. This is the third year Konnect is collaborating with the Audi academy to curate & facilitate the learning journey.

Konnect 2020 in Numbers

We are proud to share 'Konnect 2020 in Numbers', a high-level overview of this year’s achievements and topics. For the full post, follow the link

Moodify PoC- First stage completed

Konnect and Israeli startup Moodify, completed the first stage of a joint PoC in Israel. Moodify develops engineered active scents that can neutralize bad smells in cars, wake up drowsy drivers or calm them down. To learn more, follow the link

How can OEM’s and startups collaborate?

“A startup is not a supplier and needs a different treatment to make collaboration work.”Stephanie Vox, Konnect’s Managing Director, shared her insights on the challenges and opportunities of global OEM- startup cooperation in a master class at the Automotive Procurement Forum digital edition. Konnect’s role is to work on a ‘FastTrack’ for onboarding and collaboration between the startups and the Group, to quickly test and integrate technology. Click here to learn more

Open Innovation @ the Volkswagen Group

Konnect is part of the Volkswagen Group global open innovation community. Check out their website to see the latest updates on open innovation activities within the Group and Brands.

Apollo Power- Audi Cooperation

Konnect is bringing Israeli electrification technology to the Volkswagen Group.Following a year of discussions and testing led by Konnect, Israeli solar film startup, Apollo Power signed an MOU with Audi to collaborate on an Innovation project. For more details, click here (Hebrew), or here (English).

The Trainee Vlog

Nino Andricevic, our colleague from Porsche AG, shares his experience of working for 6 weeks at Konnect in 2019

Fireside chat- Nikolai Ardey at Ecomotion 2020 virtual event

Head of Volkswagen Group Innovation, Dr. Nikolai Ardey, discussed our Groups’s global Innovation strategy  and activities  with Jason Stein, editor of Automotive News

2019 Startup Challenge

The winners of the startup challenge, Seebo and Fortellix, won 25k Euros each for a paid PoC with the Volkswagen Group Brands
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