And the winners of the first ever Toyota Startup Awards are …
- At Toyota’s first ever Startup Awards, held in Barcelona on February 25, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) and ISDI Accelerator have unveiled the winners in what was a very close pitch competition
- Impressed by the quality of the finalists and their respective inclusive mobility solutions, TME awarded four startups: ProsFit (Bulgaria), Seamless Vision (Israel), SociAbility (UK) and Wheeliz (France)
- All winners secured their ticket for the Toyota Accelerator program, which includes training, mentoring and funding
Barcelona, Spain, February 25, 2020 – As part of its journey to become a mobility company, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) fully acknowledges the potential of startups committed to bringing inclusive mobility solutions to market. That is why TME created the Toyota Startup Awards with a focus on Socially Inclusive Mobility, Accessibility and Disruptive Mobility.
After launching an Open Call, nearly 200 applications from over 45 countries were duly screened and eight startups were selected to pitch at the Finals, held in Barcelona on 25 February. Over 3,000 people participated in the public voting, after which an expert jury composed of both Toyota executives and ISDI Accelerator took the final decision.
ProsFit – accessible, affordable and comfortable prosthetics
ProsFit (Bulgaria) has developed and commercialised a solution to provide accessible, affordable and comfortable prosthetics to millions of people who would otherwise find mobility extremely challenging. This enables the delivery of high-quality service provision and community-based rehabilitation in remote areas of low and middle-income countries.
We are honoured to take part in such a brilliant event, that brings together so many talented and passionate people with a shared vision to improve mobility. It is a great occasion to raise awareness for the need for prosthetics provision and to take next steps to improve capacity in the world.
Seamless Vision – urban autonomous navigation for the visually impaired
Seamless Vision (Israel) is building a robot helping the visually impaired navigate autonomously in urban areas. It guides users throughout the urban landscape, helps them to explore new places and always brings them back home safely. The technology combines multiple sensory systems with deep learning modules that constructs a human-like perception of its surroundings to enable a complete urban autonomous navigation.
Seamless Vision feels very privileged to win Toyota's vote of confidence. We look forward to harnessing the power of machine learning and advanced robotics to roll out our autonomous pedestrian navigation system and help the visually impaired become independent, confident and safe. Thank you Toyota & ISDI!
SociAbility – providing reliable and accurate accessibility information
SociAbility (UK) empowers disabled people to explore their communities with confidence, ease and peace of mind by collecting and sharing detailed, reliable and accurate accessibility information for hospitality and retail venues.
It has been such a privilege and a pleasure to be involved in the Toyota Startup Awards and to join this wonderful community of entrepreneurs working to empower disabled people in so many ways. We are really excited to partner with Toyota and ISDI to take SociAbility to the next level and to really make a difference to the lives of disabled people everywhere!
Wheeliz – peer-to-peer wheelchair accessible vehicle rental
Wheeliz (France) is the first website dedicated to peer-to-peer wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) rental. Wheeliz enables wheelchair users to rent a car directly to any WAV owner.
It is an honour for us to be able to participate in such a wonderful event. We are very proud to be part of this ecosystem. We have met extraordinary people and it is amazing to see how involved Toyota is in inclusive mobility. It is concrete and sincere and we are extremely excited that we won this prize because it is exactly what we need. We just can't wait to start working with ISDI and Toyota!
Toyota – ISDI partnership
These last two event days have been a true eye-opener. We not only got to know the startups in person, we have also witnessed first hand how each value proposition brings us a step closer to our ultimate goal of providing Ever Better Mobility for All. I was touched to see how, as a company, we share the same values, passion and desire to contribute to society.
This competition turned into something unexpected. As we were exposed to the most innovative solutions in the fields of Inclusive Mobility, Accessibility and Disruptive Mobility by a group of entrepreneurs who really understand and suffer the pain of physical impairment to move, we understood how technology and great ideas can really free people.
Toyota Accelerator program
Together, TME and ISDI Accelerator have developed the Toyota Accelerator program, which will offer training, mentoring, funding, as well as potential future collaboration with TME.
The program runs for 4 months and includes
· Assignment of business mentors for each startup to help grow their business
· Working with specialised mentors, successful entrepreneurs, experienced investors and C-Level executives from big corporations
· An immersive training bootcamp
· An initial investment of 25,000 euro in equity-free cash
· A demo day to pitch in front of top TME executives and private investors
· Potential collaboration with TME