Volvo Financial iLabX – an innovation Lab for Technology Entrepreneurs
At the end of 2018 Volvo Financial Services (“VFS”) announced its launch of ‘iLabX’, an accelerator program that will provide entrepreneurial companies from around the world in fintech and other fields with the opportunity to collaborate with VFS to develop and implement new innovative solutions and technologies that can ultimately benefit customers, dealers, and partners.
iLabX is run in collaboration with L Marks, a corporate innovation specialist.
The program accepts entries in four categories:
- Build an Exceptional Customer Journey: Solutions that make it easy for customers to access and purchase Volvo Group vehicles, parts and service, and financial services as part of our total offer.
- Financing Next Generation Transport Solutions: Platforms and product offerings that allow customers faster and easier vehicle access through ownership or other means, and address new technologies such as automation, electromobility, and connectivity.
- Digital Transformation for Business Excellence: Solutions that provide a level change in business performance through digital transformation.
- Wildcard: Solutions that look at the financial services industry 10-20 years from now, and could re-engineer long held assumptions in terms of business models, sources of capital, credit and risk evaluation, and capital flows.
Scott Rafkin, President of VFS, comments “iLabX is where innovation and implementation come together. We are looking for creative ideas that can help us solve some exciting challenges in our business and continue to meet our customers’ changing demands. By working collaboratively with other entrepreneurial minded companies, we aim to drive new thinking, explore new technologies and develop breakthrough solutions. Our ambition is to ensure VFS continues to remain highly relevant for our customers well into the future.”
Following the initial submission period, up to 15 finalists in each category will be invited to pitch their ideas to the VFS senior leadership team. From the finalists, up to 6 will be invited to join a 10-week innovation lab at VFS global headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA, to further develop their ideas alongside subject matter experts in the commercial transport and financial services industries.
“The program is an exciting way for VFS to learn more about emerging technologies and potentially pursue new business opportunities through disruptive and scalable solutions,” says Allen Atchley, VP of Strategy and Innovation and Head of iLabX for VFS. “VFS will be able to build new strategic partnerships and leverage talent, and startups can gain access to VFS’ global scale and customer and dealer insights in order to help them grow their businesses. It is also a good way for startups to have access to VFS’ years of expertise across markets, and to work with some of the most powerful brands in the commercial transport industry. They will not only share with VFS how they can innovate and drive speed, but also learn from an organization that is well established and can provide them access to the marketplace.”
During the 10-week program, the selected start ups will be based in a collaborative environment, benefiting from access to the company’s leadership team, industry experts, investment professionals, and business education programs. VFS and L Marks will also provide fundraising support.
Daniel Saunders, CEO of L Marks says, “L Marks is thrilled to be launching its inaugural program with VFS. We have a strong history of supporting the growth of fintech and mobility sector startups and developing or enhancing their products in partnership with our clients and we’re excited to see how VFS can engage with the startup ecosystem through the VFS iLabX.”