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BMW Financial Services US announces Collaboration Lab

BMW Group Financial Services in the U.S. announced today the launch of the BMW Financial Services Collaboration Lab 2018.

This accelerator program will provide entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses in fintech and other fields with the opportunity to partner with BMW Group Financial Services to develop, and then realize, innovative solutions and game-changing new technologies that can ultimately benefit consumers, dealers, and partners.

The BMW Financial Services Collaboration Lab 2018 will be run in partnership with L Marks. Beginning today, the program will accept entries in five categories: Digitizing the Customer Journey, Data Analytics and Insights, Building a Blockchain Strategy, Lease Returns and Life Cycle Management, and a Wildcard category for proposals that do not fit into one of the other categories. Submissions will be accepted from May 8, 2018 through June 17, 2018.

“BMW Group Financial Services Collaboration Lab is designed to ensure the alignment and enhancement of our overall vision of transforming how people access and enjoy personal mobility, today. This will have long-lasting effects on our business and positively impact our customers and dealer partners,” said Ian Smith, CEO of BMW Group Financial Services USA and Region Americas. “By working collaboratively with talented entrepreneurial companies, we will drive new thinking, explore new technologies and develop pioneering solutions. We will ensure that we continue to remain highly relevant and meaningful for our customers well in to the future. Collaboration is where innovation and implementation meet.”

Following the initial submission period, five finalists in each category will pitch their ideas live to a panel of judges from BMW Financial Services, BMW of North America, and L Marks. The top competitor in each category will be invited to join a 10-week lab at BMW Financial Services’ regional service center in Hilliard, Ohio, to further develop their ideas alongside leading subject matter experts in the automotive and financial sectors.

The BMW Group Financial Services Collaboration Lab is an exciting way to unearth and nurture talent and develop new solutions to some of the challenges the industry is facing,” said Stuart Marks, Chairman of L Marks.

The success of similar Collaboration Lab programs with BMW in the UK and Japan has already demonstrated the immense value of this program for all parties and has provided many new partners for BMW.

During the intensive 10-week program, the selected companies will be situated in a collaborative environment and will benefit from access to the company’s leadership team, industry experts, investment professionals, and business education programs. L Marks will also provide fundraising support.