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Mercedes-Benz, University of Alabama partner on startup challenge

By David Schwartz
Published: April 17th, 2018

University collaborations with industry can take many forms, and Mercedes-Benz is pushing the envelope in a new way by partnering with the University of Alabama and others in a start-up competition.

The “MBUSI Innovation Challenge” is running through June 19 across two sets of participants — students and professionals, and existing start-ups – who will submit advance manufacturing ideas and compete for a cash prize of up to $50,000 and a chance to become a supplier for Mercedes-Benz and its parent company, Daimler.

In addition to UA and Mercedes, partners in the challenge include economic development non-profit Urban Engine and Stuttgart-based investment and innovation firm Startup Autobahn.

Mercedes-Benz is looking for solutions using creative business strategies, software development and technology. Specifically, the challenges include big data analysis of manufacturing operations, digitization of production flow management, app-based solutions for the engagement of employees and others.

Student challenge participants can win a $5,000 prize, while existing start-ups can win $50,000 for incubation support.

“The program presents an expedited avenue for technology businesses, startups and students to begin a relationship with Daimler thereby enabling them to launch and grow for mutual benefit,” Urban Engine Executive Director Toni Eberhart said.


Posted under: Industry-Sponsored Research Week

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