Ian Smith, BMW Group Financial Services NA CEO, is one of the mentors for the new program.

With the auto industry pushed by new and emerging technology, carmakers are re-evaluating and re-organizing every part of their business, including finance.

BMW Group Financial Services in the U.S. has launched what it describes as an accelerator program named the BMW Financial Services Collaboration Lab 2018.

The new BMW accelerator will offer entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses in financial technology and other fields with the opportunity to partner with BMW Group Financial Services to develop new technology and solutions that can benefit consumers, dealers and partners. 

The BMW Financial Services Collaboration Lab 2018 will be run in partnership with L Marks, specialists in applied corporate innovation and early stage investors. It has worked with high-profile brands, including BMW, Arsenal FC, and Lloyd’s of London.

(BMW profitability hits a bump in the road. Click Here for the story.)

The new accelerator will develop ideas for lease management of BMW's new vehicles, like the new X4.

The accelerator will focus on areas named Digitizing the Customer Journey, Data Analytics and Insights, Building a Blockchain Strategy, Lease Returns and Life Cycle Management, and a Wildcard category for proposals that do not fit into one of the other categories. Submissions will be accepted from May 8 –June 17.

“BMW Group Financial Services Collaboration Lab is designed to ensure the alignment and enhancement of our overall vision of transforming how people access and enjoy personal mobility, today. This will have long-lasting effects on our business and positively impact our customers and dealer partners,” said Ian Smith, CEO of BMW Group Financial Services USA and Region Americas.

“By working collaboratively with talented entrepreneurial companies, we will drive new thinking, explore new technologies and develop pioneering solutions. We will ensure that we continue to remain highly relevant and meaningful for our customers well in to the future. Collaboration is where innovation and implementation meet.”

(Click Here for more about BMW’s new iX3 electric vehicle.)

After the initial screening, the top competitor in each category will be invited to join a 10-week lab at BMW Financial Services’ regional service center in Hilliard, Ohio, to further develop their ideas alongside leading subject matter experts in the automotive and financial sectors.

“The BMW Group Financial Services Collaboration Lab is an exciting way to unearth and nurture talent and develop new solutions to some of the challenges the industry is facing,” said Stuart Marks, chairman of L Marks.

“The success of similar Collaboration Lab programs with BMW in the UK and Japan has already demonstrated the immense value of this program for all parties and has provided many new partners for BMW,” he added.

(For more on BMW’s plans to up EV and AV spending, Click Here.)

During the 10-week program, the selected companies will be situated in a collaborative environment, and will benefit from access to the BMW leadership team, industry experts, investment professionals, and business education programs. L Marks will also provide fundraising support.

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