We are primarily seeking for startups in the late seed or growth stage. In order to participate in Startup adVANce the startups must:

  • be a legal entity (startups). Individuals are excluded.
  • not be older than 8 years as of January 1, 2017 (i.e. the startup was registered with the respective commercial register in 2009 or later);
  • be a duly registered legal entity (e.g. Inc., LLP, GmbH, etc.) under the laws of any country in the world (except embargoed countries);
  • be majority-owned (50%+) by its founders;
  • have, as of January 1, 2017, raised less than €100 million in external capital since it was registered with the respective commercial register; and
  • have a management and development team (at least 2 persons) working full-time for the applying Startup.

If you do not meet the required criteria you can still apply as potential cooperation partner at a later stage. More information coming soon.

Startups can apply for one of the three tracks. If your idea does not fit to any of the three tracks please have a look at the accelerator program Startup Autobahn, in which Daimler AG is also involved.

For further Information and reasons for exclusion please see Sect. 1.4. in the Terms and Conditions below and FAQ.

The application should be done online via www.f6s.com. The application form for Phase 1 includes space for a concise description of your product idea. Use the space available. Provide a clear and succinct description of your product idea; avoid repetitions in text and use tables and images (e.g. video, PowerPoint) to illustrate your product idea.

The neutral evaluators assess the product idea based on the application form and the defined evaluation criteria (see Terms and Conditions, Sect. 2.3).

In case of any technical problems during the application process please contact the Support Team from F6S per Email  support@f6s.com. The Team help out users nearly immediately.

The smartphone quality is enough for an application. The video could be combined from a number of single videos about each Team member as well.

To select the startups, Daimler AG has defined several criteria for each Phase, which are rated with 1 (low) to 5 (high). A participant is excluded from the challenge if the average score is below 3 or if two or more criteria are rated below 3.

  • In Phase 1, the team, product idea, customer needs, industry, market & market segment, value network and your performance in an elevator pitch are evaluated.
  • In Phase 2, the work plan, resources and competences, cost structure and revenue stream, as well as the business strategy are additionally assessed.
  • Finally, Phase 3 is based on the scalability of the product and the realization plan.

For further information see Sect. 2.3 in the Terms and Conditions.

For Phase 1, Daimler AG will use external neutral evaluators to evaluate the applications based defined criteria for Phase 1. For Phase 2 and 3, internal evaluators from Daimler AG will evaluate the applications based on the relevant Criteria, provided that Daimler AG reserves the right to collaborate with external evaluators also for Phase 2 and/or Phase 3.

An advisory board is instated by Daimler AG to provide advice on the operational aspects of Startup adVANce.

For further information regarding the evaluation see Sect. 2 in the Terms and Conditions.

Emerging technologies but also regulatory, economical and social trends influence urban transportation. Mercedes-Benz Vans wants to foster new partnerships with startups all around the world to co-develop the future of last mile transportation and logistics. (Three Tracks)

Startup adVANce by Mercedes-Benz Vans is endorsed by the European Commission as the initial point of a successful long-term partnership for the development of new solutions around cargo space, shared transportation businesses and technologies related to the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

Startups can apply with ideas to one of the three tracks:

If your idea does not fit to any of the three tracks please have a look at the accelerator program Startup Autobahn, in which Daimler AG is also involved.

Please have a look at the Phases and Timeline and import the calendar so you do not miss any dates of Startup adVANce.

  • The Open Call period for Startup adVANce is from September 9, 2016 through January 15, 2017.
    External evaluators will select approximately 80 startups to participate in Phase 1 until February 7, 2017.
  • Phase 1 goes from February 7 through March 26, 2017. After a two-day Workshop in February or March you will have the chance to refine your ideas. The application period for Phase 2 is from March 26 through April 9, 2017. Until April 25 Mercedes-Benz Vans will select 10 startups to participate in Phase 2.
  • Phase 2 goes from May 6 through July 6, 2017. 10 startups will elaborate their concepts equipped with a grant of € 10,000 each. The application period for Phase 3 is from July 7 through 23, 2017. Mercedes-Benz Vans will select max. 5 startups for Phase 3 until August 15, 2017.
  • Phase 3 goes from August 25 through November 26, 2017. Grants of € 900,000 in total are available to support the max. 5 finalists in developing their prototypes.

For more information, see Sect. 1.5 in the Terms and Conditions.

Our development team is located in Stuttgart, Germany. We don’t ask the startup to move because we want independent and strong partners worldwide. The way of communication will be discussed individually (e.g. virtual cooperation, meetings once in a  while).

The startup and Daimler AG jointly own intellectual property rights on work results developed in Phase 2 and Phase 3.

Each party is entitled to individually use the jointly-owned work results for the purpose of the parties’ cooperation on a worldwide and royalty-free basis without requiring the prior written consent of the other party.

For more information, see the Cooperation Agreement.

The startup and Daimler AG remain the owner of their already existing individual Background-IP.

Daimler shall be entitled to use the Startup-Background-IP to the extent necessary to use and otherwise exploit the jointly-owned work results.

For more information, see the Cooperation Agreement.

When the cooperation ends, each party can use and transfer its share in Shared Intellectual Property Rights.

For more information, see the Cooperation Agreement.

Mercedes-Benz Vans provides participating startups with grants of € 1 million in total. Whereas Phase 1 is unpaid, 10 teams in Phase 2 will be supported in refining their concepts with € 10,000 each. In Phase 3, up to 5 ventures will share a total of € 900,000 to validate their prototypes.

Besides providing grants, know-how and the infrastructure for co-developing, additional support may be offered if the startup is interested and if it matches to Mercedes-Benz Vans’ strategic focus, for example in the marketing and distribution of the product in case of joint commercialization.

On the long run, potential cooperations may include:

  • Mercedes-Benz Vans becomes a customer of your product
  • Mercedes-Benz Vans pays you for R&D projects or any other commissioning
  • Mercedes-Benz Vans becomes a strategic partner and invests into corporate shares
  • Mercedes-Benz Vans offers you an exit and acquires your startup