Tokyo-based Creww, the Japanese startup that operates a community platform for startups, announced last week that it has partnered with Toyota InfoTechnology Center (Toyota ITC for short), the R&D arm of Toyota Motor (TSE:7203), and will launch a joint program accepting business collaboration ideas from startups in Japan and the rest of the world. For the R&D company, this is part of their open innovation efforts where corporations explore the potentials of creating businesses with startups.
In this program, Toyota ITC wants applicant startups to submit their ideas for providing new car experiences to users at different stages of life or to create new contact points with users through Toyota’s wide range of products. In return for this, Toyota ITC will provide selected startups with assets and resources such as Toyota’s vehicle users, vehicle-related data, vehicles and funds to develop a prototype.
Applicant startups have to submit their ideas online between October 13th and 23rd. Based on submitted proposals, selected startups will have a chance to discuss online with the Toyota ITC team to brush up their idea. Following a two-step qualification process by Creww and Toyota ITC, finalists will be announced at yearend and allowed to proceed to the collaborative development phase.
Creww has partnered with over 30 Japanese corporations to date and helped them work with startups in so-called open innovation efforts. As of this month, the company has received more than 600 business proposals from startups in total while over 100 ideas out of these have been adopted by partnering corporations.
Meanwhile, Toyota ITC is known for having been exploring extensively the potentials of collaborative works with startups not only in Japan but also around the world. Our readers may recall that the company held a hackathon event in Tel Aviv last year in association with Japanese startup incubator Samurai Incubate. Toyota Motor, the parent company of Toyota ITC, also collaboratively works with Japanese 3D printing startup Kabuku as to the development process of the Toyota i-Road personal mobility vehicle.
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy