The numbers are in, and the third annual AutoMobili-D was a hub for mobility conversation, tech startup innovation, B2B collaboration and talent acquisition. AutoMobili-D, a 150,000-square-foot mobility and technology showcase, featured innovators demonstrating future mobility platforms and four days of mobility-themed content.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)/PlanetM played a key role in the mobility exposition for the third year as the Title Sponsor of AutoMobili-D and Co-Presenting Sponsor of AutoMobili-D’s Match Meeting and Future Automotive Career Exposition (FACE) Programs. The Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan (Ted) was also a sponsor of FACE. Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs connect and succeed, was a partner with AutoMobili-D again this year.
AutoMobili-D grew this year with a 46 percent increase in exhibitors from around the world. It featured over 200 different brands with 65 startups from 10 countries, in addition to global automakers, suppliers, universities and government organizations.
Techstars reports 63 percent of the companies in the startup area were first-time exhibitors. Since its inception at AutoMobili-D in 2017, the startup area has grown by 59 percent.
NAIAS and MEDC/PlanetM worked together for a second year to bring back the highly successful business-to-business Match Meetings, promoting new connections and collaborations among startups, automakers, suppliers and venture capitalists.
Nearly 200 matchmaking business development meetings were held, with an additional 150 connections made through the PlanetM mobile app, the go-to for all things PlanetM. MEDC/PlanetM states connections are continuing to be made even today on the mobile app.
The Match Meetings held and connections made at AutoMobili-D have been a catalyst for forging unmatched business development opportunities and exposure to key audience groups. According to the MEDC, a total of $11.5M in contracts between startups and corporations has been facilitated since the inception of AutoMobili-D.
Israeli startup Caaresys, for example, that develops passenger-monitoring systems based on micro radar and has eyes set on Michigan as they grow, has announced it will be collaborating with SMK Corporation, a Japanese electronic components manufacturer. The two companies report the collaboration came out of a meeting at the 2018 NAIAS. In fact, Caaresys and SMK just recently announced collaboration toward in-car integration of Caaresys innovative passenger monitoring technologies to enhance driver and passenger safety and comfort.
Industry talent also had an opportunity to connect at AutoMobili-D. FACE, a partnership between NAIAS and Ted, connected those interested in working in all aspects of the mobility industry with AutoMobili-D exhibiting companies. In total, 800 jobseekers came to interact face-to-face with prospective employers looking to fill positions.
Now in its second year, FACE attendees had an opportunity to be interviewed by HR representatives from world-renowned automotive companies and suppliers as well as hear presentations from leading Michigan companies, universities and higher-education institutions. A panel of young professionals in the automotive sector also shared their stories on why they chose to live and work in Michigan.
A powerful A-list, including some of the best minds from top universities such as Kettering University and Michigan State University, also participated in AutoMobili-D symposiums and panel discussions throughout preview week.