FCA Partners With Plug And Play Accelerator To Set Up Mobility Hub In Detroit

By Amit Chowdhry ● Jan 3, 2020
  • FCA announced it is joining a partnership formed between the Plug and Play startup accelerator and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council

FCA recently announced that it is joining a partnership formed between the Plug and Play startup accelerator and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) to launch a new innovation hub in Detroit by June 2020.

“Plug and Play Detroit powered by AmplifyD” (Amplify:Diversity) is going to provide streamlined access to all technology startups with an emphasis on those owned by women and minorities.

“The automotive industry is at the crossroads of digital transformation, where automated driving, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility are reshaping the future of mobility,” said Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer at FCA North America. “The participation with Plug and Play Detroit powered by AmplifyD accelerates FCA’s approach to research and development, providing immediate streamlined access to an ecosystem of hundreds of technology startups all with an emphasis on diversity, and with greater diversity, comes greater innovation.”

This partnership essentially underpins FCA’s approach to the rapid advancement of select technologies through strategic collaborations that promote a culture of innovation and safety. 

“Innovation accelerator programs play a critical role in successfully bringing new ideas to market. Through this partnership, entrepreneurs will gain access to resources, mentoring, financing, as well as physical space, to research and develop future mobility technology. Such resources, in many cases, are not readily available for entrepreneurs, particularly women and minorities. I am excited to partner with Plug and Play, FCA and various other corporations we will announce in the future, to address this need as we grow corporations and entrepreneurs in the process,” added Michelle Sourie Robinson, president and CEO of Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

FCA will become a founding partner in the innovation hub. And AmplifyD is expecting to welcome more corporate and automotive partners soon.

Later this month, Scott Thiele, Head of North America Purchasing & Supply Chain Management at FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, will assume the helm as MMSDC Board Chairman. 

Plug and Play Detroit powered by AmplifyD is going to secure space in downtown Detroit for the innovation hub in the first quarter of 2020 and it has plans to open its doors by June.

“We have been building innovation platforms focused on mobility worldwide in locations such as Silicon Valley, Stuttgart, and Tokyo. As Detroit has been the origin of the automotive industry in the U.S., this is a strategic location for us to connect our corporate partners to startups and entrepreneurs and to continue to foster collaboration and innovation,” explained Saeed Amidi, founder and CEO of Plug and Play. “The automotive industry is going through an incredible transformation with electrification, connected and autonomous vehicles. This partnership with MMSDC and FCA as an early participant – globally as well as in Detroit – in the automotive industry, is a perfect example of how big corporations are taking the necessary steps to embrace the changes in the mobility sector.”

Since 2006, Plug and Play’s programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 25 locations globally. Over 10,000 startups and 300 official corporate partners have worked with Plug and Play to create one of the biggest startup ecosystems. And companies in the Plug and Play portfolio have raised $7 billion in funding and it includes exits like Danger, Rappi, Dropbox, Lending Club, and PayPal.

The MMSDC is a non-profit organization that promotes the economic growth of its corporate members and minority-owned businesses that serve them. The organization launched in 1977 and it drives over $36 billion dollars in economic impact each year with its 1,200 certified minority business owners and 300 corporate members.

Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan FCA US designs, manufactures, and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, FIAT, and Alfa Romeo brands along with the SRT performance designation. Plus the company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories.