A Better Future for Berliners with Reduced Mobility through Toyota Mobility Foundation Partnership with the City of Berlin and betahausX

Berlin, Germany - January 21, 2019 - Urban mobility is one of the world’s pressing issues.  As cities continuously expand and become more congested, all forms of transit are pressured to meet growing demand.  For people with mobility challenges, the pain points are more immediate and severe, and finding good solutions is difficult due to the complexity of today’s infrastructure.

People with reduced mobility encounter daily issues in and around public transit.  Whether going from home to a bus, tram, or train; from one form of transit to a connecting form; or moving in and around stations, those with mobility issues cannot use and enjoy public transport in the same way people without mobility challenges can.  In response to these issues in the Berlin-Brandenburg region, we have developed the Accessible Transport for Berlin Challenge.

The Toyota Mobility Foundation, with the support of the City of Berlin, and together with betahausX, and public transport partners DB, BVG, ViP and VBB, will host this special competition to make public transport more accessible for people with mobility issues.  This isn’t just another startup competition.  Public transport partners will implement ideas through on-the-ground testing.  The best ideas will not disappear into an innovation vacuum.  This unique competition also encourages startups to break down barriers through building mobile apps and digital solutions to make transportation in Berlin and Potsdam accessible for everyone.

Accessible Transport for Berlin Challenge Timeline

  1. Applications Open 21 January 2019
  2. Applications Close 11 March 2019
  3. Selection Period 11 March- 4 April 2019
  4. Selection Announcement 4 April 2019
  5. Briefing and Training for Selected Entrants 9 April 2019
  6. Accessible Transport for Berlin Challenge Day 10 April 2019

Prize Amounts

First and Second Place: 3,000 Euros

Third and Fourth Place: 2,000 Euros

Fifth and Sixth Place: 1,000 Euros

Visit the Accessible Transport for Berlin Challenge website here: https://www.betahaus.com/accessible-transport-challenge 



“Berlin is not only one of the most important capitals in central Europe, but it’s also one of the most buzzing startup hubs.  We think that the creative atmosphere and conscious attitude make it the perfect place to implement new mobility solutions.  betahausX are at the forefront of facilitating dialogue between startups and corporates, with their expertise we are excited to see what solutions this project will generate.”
Andy Fuchs, General Manager at the Toyota Mobility Foundation
"We are very happy and honoured that we teamed up with TMF and our strong implementation partners to provide new, innovative solutions to the people concerned.  We will make sure to gather the most exciting and competent global teams in Berlin and help support public transport to enhance the life of mobility impaired people.”
Maximilian von der Ahé, founder of betahausX

From navigation to seamless communication to optimized platforms, the theme of accessible transport and mobility is a very broad and important one. In this competition, we are calling for innovative solutions to improve public transportation systems.  These innovations should help people with reduced mobility - such as individuals from the disabled, elderly, or visually-impaired communities - to move more freely within the city.  The best startups, chosen to compete at the pitch event held in Berlin on April 10, will present to the public transport partners to win the opportunity to implement their Proof of Concept.

Who should join?

Startups from all over the world are encouraged to apply.  Startups should already be at the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage or have a more developed solution that addresses urban mobility issues.  The startup can be based anywhere in the world, but one or more team members must be able to travel to Berlin on April 9-10 and be able to implement their solution, should they win the competition.



About Toyota Mobility Foundation

The Toyota Mobility Foundation was established in August 2014 to support the development of a more mobile society.  The Foundation aims to promote strong mobility systems while eliminating disparities in mobility.  It utilizes Toyota’s expertise in technology, safety, and the environment, working in partnership with universities, government, non-profit organizations, research institutions and other organizations to address mobility issues around the world.  Programs include resolving urban transportation problems, expanding the utilization of personal mobility, and developing solutions for the next generation mobility.

About betahausX

Founded in 2014, betahausX organises international startup competitions, hackathons, startup immersions and corporate accelerators, with the aim to reinvent growth.  betahausX also runs BETAPITCH, a global startup pitch competition in 12 cities that ends each year in Berlin with Investors Day.


About the Public Transport Partners

Deutsche Bahn (DB)

With its management group in Berlin, and more than 310,000 employees (40% located outside Germany), DB Group offers global mobility and logistical services and operates in over 130 countries.

Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG)

BVG is the leading public transport company in Berlin. It manages the city's underground railway, tram, bus and replacement services (EV).  Their company objective is to be reliable and innovative, and in the process contribute to the face of the city – both inwardly and outwardly.

Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB)

The VBB is the public transport authority covering the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg – the entire capital area of Germany.  They see the necessity to reconnect Berlin to the surrounding Brandenburg area and to create high-quality public transport.

Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam (ViP)

ViP operates the major part of public transport in Potsdam, the adjacent city to Berlin.  The company is a subsidiary of Stadtwerke Potsdam GmbH. Today, the transport companies operate seven tram lines, 25 bus lines and a ferry connection as partners of the VBB.




Toyota Mobility Foundation Contact:

Julie Ann Burandt

Toyota Mobility Foundation

Toyota North America