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While searching for young startups with innovative technologies, BMW Group Financial Services has teamed up with investment fund L Marks to launch Innovation Lab 2016, a new initiative which will allow BMW to explore different perspectives on their business and generate new ideas, while offering young startups the chance to gain exposure to a range of experienced mentors and potential investors.

The programme is the first of its kind in the automotive financial services sector, and we were delighted to meet with Mike Dennett, CEO of BMW Group Financial Services UK to learn more this 10-week programme, how it works and who is elegible to apply!

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Mike Dennett, CEO, BMW Group Financial Services

eOffice: Can you tell us more about BMW’s Innovation Lab and why was it recently launched in the UK?

Mike Dennett: BMW Group Financial Services has launched its Innovation Lab in the UK – the first of its kind for the automotive financial service sector.

We have partnered with L Marks, a corporate innovation specialist and investment fund to work with five companies on a 10 week journey that will give them unprecedented access to BMW Group Financial Services, support to drive innovation in the car finance space and help fast track the growth of their business.

As well as access to BMW Group Financial Services experts, data and customers, Innovation Lab participants will receive:

  • product validation and testing opportunities with BMW Group Financial Services experts and customers
  • mentorship from BMW Group Financial Services senior leadership
  • access to investors at L Marks
  • a network of industry experts
  • free office space located at BMW Group Financial Services head office in Farnborough, Hampshire

eOffice: How is the Innovation Lab different from other acceleration programmes?

Mike Dennett: We believe we are different. The Innovation Lab is a programme of development that focuses on building a strong relationship between you and BMW Group Financial Services as well as helping your business get to the next stage. The Innovation Lab will offer participants access to investment, desk space, internal mentors and expertise at BMW Group Financial Services head office, a first class education programme and external mentors.

eOffice: Is funding available as a part of the programme?

Mike Dennett: All participants are eligible for apply for investment from the L Marks investment fund. During the programme, you will have the opportunity to meet with the L Marks Chief Investment Officer to discuss funding.

eOffice: Who should apply to take part in the Innovation Lab?

Mike Dennett: The business is on the search for tech startups that are developing products or solutions the following categories:

  • Access to Cars – partnerships that can transform how they can utilise existing fleets to enhance ownership, usage and customer retention
  • Data Driven Decisions – solutions that provide transparency, data visualisations and accelerates decision-making for customers and suppliers
  • Used Cars – exploring ways to open up their used car opportunities and attract a younger market
  • Digitising the Customer Journey – solutions that can introduce more streamlined and intuitive online journeys
  • FinTech Wildcard – we want to hear from technologists and entrepreneurs looking to transform automotive finance and insurance opportunities

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Applications for Innovation Lab are open now and will remain so until July 31!

If you are an early stage startup looking to work with the first ever BMW Group Financial Services
Innovation Lab send your application now!

Successful applicants will not only gain mentorship opportunities from leaders in the UK sector and a network of industry experts, but they will also be offered free office space at BMW Group Financial Services’ headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire.

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