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BMW Financial Services Japan launches Innovation Lab

The BMW Innovation Lab 2018 entrepreneur programme provides an opportunity for early-stage startup companies to partner with BMW Group Financial Services Japan’s operational and commercial divisions in Japan. The programme is aimed at companies with disruptive business models or new technologies that could benefit BMW Group customers.

Participants can enter any of the following five categories:

  • Provide delight through the journey of financing: Exploring solutions to analyze feedback from dealers and customers; Exploring tools which can highlight trends from analysis of existing data.
  • Optimise internal processes for a seamless customer experience: Exploring tools to automate certain internal operations to deliver better speed, accuracy and quality in less time.
  • Improve effective handling of future risks: Exploring solutions focused on effective evaluation of risks to strengthen the foundation of trust that BMW Group Financial Services Japan has earned so far.
  • Wildcard: Exploring any other relevant solutions not encompassed by the other four categories to help BMW Group Financial Services Japan provide financial services more creatively and innovatively.

This entrepreneur programme will see selected startups join a structured 10-week course of activities. Participants will have access to mentorship from the leadership team of BMW Group Financial Services Japan, a collaborative working environment at the company’s Tokyo headquarters, a business education programme with links to a network of industry experts, as well as access to investors and fundraising support from L Marks.

All participants will also be encouraged to collaborate in problem-solving and in sharing their experiences wherever beneficial.

Mike Wetherell, Representative Director, President and CEO at BMW Group Financial Services Japan, said: “This programme is all about finding new ideas and new ways to think. While the solutions from this Innovation Lab should target our customers and dealers in Japan, we invite startups from all around the world to participate in this journey of innovation.”

Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur and Chairman of L Marks, said: “Having successfully worked with BMW Group in the UK for the last two years, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with BMW Group in Japan. This is an exciting new market for us, and whilst we’ve previously had startups apply to our UK programs, we’re looking forward to accessing more of the fantastic talent and solutions Japan has to offer. Giving these entrepreneurs access to the leadership of BMW Group Financial Services Japan and to relevant functional teams will greatly accelerate their product development and business growth.”

Applications from external entrepreneurs, startups and early-stage growth businesses to participate in the BMW Innovation Lab 2018 must be submitted through the website by April 1st, 2018.