These guidelines describe what startup companies we aim to partner with, as well as our selection process and timing.
Process and timing
- About your Startup: To start the process of joining our program, which means becoming a partner and supplier of the BMW Group, just send us information about your company. We are looking for companies that can help us innovate @BMW – meaning, any of our products, services, processes and business models. In other words, we are looking for innovative solutions for our vehicles, services, factories, as well as IT, Financial, Administration and HR systems.
- Due diligence: Once we receive your information, we evaluate if your firm fits our basic criteria. Next we focus on understanding your solution – a technology, product or service. We are looking for unique solutions that can make a significant contribution to innovation @BMW. Unique means: your solution is better than those we have in our current ecosystem. During this stage, we will invite you to discuss your solution in depth with us, and potentially demo it.
- Unit One Request for Proposal: Next, we will send you a Request for Proposal. Here we specify what Proof of Concept (POC) project we would like to conduct with you for validation. A POC project, which is limited to 3 months in duration, could be to integrate a prototype of your technology into a BMW vehicle, or to pilot a new mobility service, or to test a new IT system, or to run a pilot for a new manufacturing solution.
- Acceptance: The last stage is to review and fine-tune your proposal. At agreement, we will invite you to join our program. Prior to kick-off of the POC project, you will now get an official BMW Supplier Number and a Purchase Order. Congratulations – you have just gained the BMW Group as your client.
Timing: The whole process can be as short as four weeks. In general, this depends on how relevant and unique your solution is.
Deadline: There is no deadline to submit your information. We are always interested to learn about exciting startups.
- Startup solutions: We are looking for startups whose solution – a product, service or technology – can make a relevant contribution to innovate @BMW – meaning, any of our products, services, processes and business models.
- Startup type: We look for startups that develop and sell a solution. Startups offering a consulting or engineering service are not in our scope. Startups are the sole owner of their intellectual property.
- Startup stage: Our program is for early stage startup companies, meaning: The solution offered is not yet proven and not yet marketed to the mainstream market. The startup must have a functional prototype. Startups must be legal entities (Inc., LLP, GmbH, etc.) from any country, that are majority-owned by its individual founders and its venture capital investors. The startup has a full-time management and development team.
- Funding stage: Startups need to have at least seed funding from an institutional investor. This could be a Venture Capital investor or an equity based accelerator.
If in doubt, if your startup fits our basic criteria, please see our FAQs or contact us.