VDA and German Startups Association agree mutual membership
The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) is gaining two new members from the world of start-ups. The Berlin company ally, a mobility start-up known internationally for its eponymous mobility app and platform “ally,” is becoming a VDA member. And the German Startups Association (BVDS) is also joining the VDA. For its part, the VDA is becoming a member of the start-up association. VDA President Matthias Wissmann commented today during his visit to ally: “Changes in mobility, along with digitization, demand completely new types of cooperation. More and more data is being added to cars and this is changing individual mobility. It is therefore only logical that the automotive industry and start-ups should work together. Young technology firms can work in a more experimental manner with a higher level of risk. This makes companies like ally ideal partners for research and development within the sector. The automotive industry wishes to exploit the opportunities inherent in this cooperation and jointly ensure that mobility technology ‘Made in Germany’ will continue to set the standards in the future.”
Over a year ago, the VDA was already beginning to involve young companies working in digital mobility services (such as ally) more intensively in the association’s activities. The BVDS and the VDA will cooperate on mutual integration into association and committee structures. To this end, the German Startups Association and ally will now be extraordinary members of the VDA. In the future the VDA and the BVDS wish to concentrate on working together in order to quickly advance the following topics: cooperation between start-ups and industry, and the creation of innovation-friendly regulatory conditions in Germany, including a modern mobility policy and even better financing conditions for young businesses. Wissmann stressed, “When it comes to providing venture capital, Germany still has a considerable way to catch up. New companies must have the opportunity to develop their business models in Germany.”
Florian Nöll, Chairman of the German Startups Association, welcomed the new partnership: “Our companies, especially those in the mobility sector, are desperately interested in their innovations making a major contribution to extending Germany’s lead in building automobiles and in mobility solutions. Here it is necessary to have a non-restrictive regulatory framework that continues to stimulate innovations such as connected and automated driving and ridesharing. Digital innovations are not made in the lab, but are tested and rapidly developed on the market. This will require much faster introduction of modern communication technology for connected driving into the infrastructure.” Nöll also called for better overall conditions for financing young companies with venture capital: “The Grand Coalition has an obligation to improve the options for investors who want to support new businesses particularly in the growth phase. We need laws and tax regulations that are internationally competitive. Germany is still lagging behind other countries on the availability of venture capital.”
ally’s two founders, Dr. Tom Kirschbaum and Maxim Nohroudi, also want to intensify existing cooperation with the automotive industry. “Our team has set new standards for analyzing traffic flows and data in urban centers. With our technology, efficient ‘on demand’ offerings can enhance urban mobility. Our technology is available to traffic companies and the automotive industry as ‘mobility as a service’,” said Tom Kirschbaum, who is also speaker for mobility on the board of the start-ups’ association. In this capacity he emphasized the benefit that industry and start-ups could have from closer cooperation: “The industry should now focus its innovation strategy even more on integrating start-ups by means of cooperative schemes and investments.”
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German Startups Association (BVDS)
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German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)
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About the German Startups Association (BVDS)
The German Startups Association was founded in Berlin in September 2012. The organization represents and speaks for start-ups in Germany. It voices and explains the interests, viewpoints and concerns of business start-ups vis-à-vis the legislature, administration and the general public.
ally is a Berlin technology start-up in the field of urban mobility. It uses a data-based platform and a mobile application to develop software for efficient, demand-driven local transport (mobility on demand), which it makes available as mobility-as-a-service to towns and cities, transportation companies and the automotive industry.