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The future according to … The future according to …

The future according to …

2 min reading time
This is an audio column about future developments in tech, science, society, and culture. By looking at current trends through the eyes of an expert in their respective field, we discover new perspectives and possibilities. Each speaker shares their take on a topic and invites you to join them when they venture a glimpse into the future. Tune in for new inspiration!

26 May 2023

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Dive into the increasingly fast-paced world of startups and learn how Alexandra Renner, Startup Lead R&D, and her colleagues in the BMW Startup Garage bridge different worlds every day.

This episode is about matchmaking between specific challenges in the automotive industry and startups with creative solutions – with Alexandra Renner, Startup Lead R&D at the BMW Startup Garage.

Thinking about the mobility of the future demands “out of the box thinking” (➜ Read also: Imagine … Driving tomorrow today). That’s what Alexandra Renner and her colleagues at the BMW Startup Garage do on a daily basis: they view cars as more than just a box on wheels. Today, vehicles might be considered a functional part of the world, simply a means of transport. In Renner’s vision, however, cars will be so much more: an inseparable part of daily life, a space of one’s own, a true companion. If this is to be the future of mobility, diverse ideas from all fields must come together. But what does it take to bring totally new technology into a car? The key to achieving this could be cooperating with startups.

A perfect match

As Startup Lead R&D at the BMW Startup Garage, Renner brings together BMW business units facing technical challenges with startups that offer solutions to these challenges. Her background makes her a perfect match for this role. Renner graduated with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Munich. During her studies, she co-founded a tech startup focusing on AR. This brought her the perfect set of skills as a matchmaker when she joined the BMW Startup Garage in 2018. Having experienced the startup ecosystem herself, she is no stranger to this world and its challenges. With this knowledge, she supports startups in becoming long-term suppliers for the BMW Group.

Startups speed up the future

Renner recognizes the potential in collaborating with startups. She believes the adoption of new technologies is just one of the reasons why larger companies should keep an eye on the startup market. Startups contribute significantly to accelerating the growth and innovative drive of the industry. As an example, the high cost of drivers is the most expensive factor in Uber’s business model. This has motivated investments in autonomous driving technology. Ultimately, the normal customer will benefit from this development, as autonomous driving will be more affordable and available sooner.

Startups with innovative business models often set the pace for the industry.
Alexandra Renner

BMW Startup Garage, Startup Lead R&D

Working towards a more comprehensive concept for the mobility of the future, startups are offering innovative solutions that are not necessarily linked to the automotive world. They play a key role in shaping the future of mobility by bringing fresh ideas to the industry (➜ Read also: Electric car facts from around the world). This is only possible by creating a bridge that connects these two worlds. BMW was the first company to establish a venture client unit in 2015. The BMW Startup Garage is the gateway for startups to enter the global automotive industry. Listen to this episode of “Future according to …” and learn more about what the future of startups in the automotive industry could look like as Alexandra Renner envisions it today.

Alexandra Renner is Startup Lead R&D at the BMW Startup Garage. Renner completed a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Munich. During her studies, she co-founded a tech startup with a focus on AR. Later in 2018, she brought her skill to the BMW Startup Garage. Since then, she has been supporting startups in becoming long-term suppliers for the BMW Group.

Author: Narges Derakhshan; Collage: Madita O’Sullivan; Art Direction: Madita O’Sullivan; Sound: Julia Niedermeier, David Georgos

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