Innovation is the key to success in the digital world. To thrive, companies must never be content to stand still, but instead anticipate, plan for and navigate constant change. By opening up their innovation process to external parties, organizations benefit from the exchange and get access to capabilities they lack internally. 

Startup Autobahn, based in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of Europe’s most successful innovation platforms. It enables in-depth and curated collaboration between leading industry partners and world-class startups. The innovation platform was founded in 2016 by four partners – Mercedes-Benz AG, Plug and Play, ARENA2036 and Universität Stuttgart – with DXC joining the group soon afterwards as a “Founding Anchor Partner”. The group has now grown to include 36 partners from across the globe, focusing on topics around the future of mobility (autonomous driving), manufacturing production, enterprise and sustainability.

Startup Autobahn’s programs are powered by Plug and Play, the Silicon Valley-based global innovation platform that connects startups with corporations and investors. The ultimate goal is to integrate startups’ technologies that are aligned with current trends and corporate partners’ interests into those partners’ projects and processes. 

A successful collaboration

DXC’s close association with the Startup Autobahn team has provided us with a structured approach to successful, large-scale startup collaborations. And it enables us to offer our customers a digital ecosystem that they can leverage to co-innovate and scale.

To date DXC has selected more than 100 program startups and initiated over 25 pilots and customer implementations as collaborative projects. The inherent agility of startups, combined with DXC’s ability to execute customer projects and managed services, generate a new engine of success in the digital world.

One example of a successful collaboration between DXC and a startup is a joint project we conducted with Identifai for a German metal manufacturer. DXC and Identifai saw an opportunity to reduce the company’s energy costs and emissions, as well as improve its operational efficiency. We built an Energy Intelligence platform and backend to automate energy consumption reporting, estimates and forecasts of energy needs. This provides energy usage per order and part, which has reduced energy costs for the manufacturer by 5% (roughly 7.5 million euros per year).

Our road to accomplishments

In our engagements with Startup Autobahn, we are motivated by a number of key principles:

  • Identify new market trends and technologies as a source for innovation beyond industry boundaries.
  • Consistently deliver excellence by quickly responding to our customers’ expectations.
  • Scale and integrate startup solutions at our customer sites.
  • Transform and improve our own business with joint value propositions developed together with the startups.
  • Reinforce and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Bring in DXC’s world-class managed service capabilities to operate and maintain startup solutions.

We are actively seeking new partnerships with individuals and companies to develop both innovative business models and cutting-edge technologies for ourselves and our customers.

Contact us to learn how you can participate in a collaborative project with DXC and our customers.

About the author

About the author

Lara Fischhuber is a Business Innovation Consultant in the DXC Digital Service Innovation team within the DXC Analytics and Engineering practice. Driving intrapreneurship at DXC, she is building strategic partnerships with innovative startup companies, developing and implementing joint offerings that target industry trends and shifts and the transformation needs of our customers. She co-manages DXC’s active role on Plug & Play’s open innovation platform, Startup Autobahn, the catalyst for intrapreneurship. Lara has a master’s degree in Digital Pioneering with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Digital Business Modelling.