Luxury car brand Infiniti announced the Toronto launch of Infiniti Lab, a month-long technology accelerator program focused on IoT and smart city initiatives. The lab originally launched in Hong Kong in 2015, making this Infiniti’s first time expanding into North America.
Selected startups will work with the City of Toronto, TELUS Ventures, Techstars, OMERS Ventures, and Fleet Company to get access to technology, mentorship, and education throughout the month. At the end of the program, the startups will pitch to a panel of Canadian VC firms, while the winning team will be fast-tracked into the three-month Hong Kong program launching in July.
The car brand partnered with Multiplicity, a Toronto-based non-profit that provides education and mentorship to startups, to launch the program. Applications are open now, and the program starts on May 29.
Stephen Lester, managing director of Infiniti Canada, suggested that Infiniti was attracted to the city due to the strength of strength and talent of Canada’s startups. “Infiniti Canada is proud to help accelerate the country’s next entrepreneurial stars. Multiplicity is the ideal partner for the launch of Infiniti Lab Toronto,” said Lester. “Parallel to Infiniti, they do not wait for change to come to them, they are the change. They drive the ideas that will make a tangible difference to our daily lives.”
Infiniti is not the only automaker to partner with tech startups. Last month, Volkswagen announced their partnership with Vancouver-based D-Wave Systems, which develops quantum computers, to determine the best use for their technology. D-Wave’s first project was looking at traffic flow optimization in Beijing, using the quantum computers to process the data.