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DRIVE TLV – a bridge between the Volvo Group and start-ups

DRIVE TLV is an innovation hub that focuses on smart mobility solutions. Its mission is to create effective collaborations between hand-picked start-ups and the hub’s corporate partners, one of which is Volvo. “Through Drive TLV we have access to start-ups working with the latest technology” says Guillaume Favreau from Volvo.
DRIVE TLV – a bridge between the Volvo Group and start-ups
Guillaume Favreau

Guillaume Favreau and Vishnu Rajanikanth, at Volvo Group is the link between the Volvo Group and DRIVE TLV, “As a result of the collaboration with DRIVE, we have access to start-ups which are working with new technology that could be of interest to us,” Guillaume explains.  “There’s a big technology shift taking place in the transport industry and we need to team up with start-ups that have cutting-edge technology expertise in key areas to speed up the innovation process.”

Maybe a perfect match?

Every other week Guillaume and Vishnu meet representatives from DRIVE TLV and together they try to match the needs of the Volvo Group with start-ups. Itay Erel, CEO at Drive TLV can see many advantages for start-ups and corporate partners to collaborate. “The corporate partners infrastructure, network and knowledge paired with the speed, tech and talent of start-ups is the best of both worlds. Our team at DRIVE TLV is focused on honing the selected startups' value proposition in order to co-create wins with Volvo Group's goals in-mind. Geared towards commercialization, we support our partners and startups throughout the lifecycle of the relationship: from initiation all the way to a market ready solution. In addition, we create for our partners an exclusive forum where they can share ideas and challenges with other partners and seek new solutions and business opportunities.”

Itay Erel

Life in the FastLane
Twice a year DRIVE TLV presents the start-ups in its FastLane programme. DRIVE TLV focuses on the start-ups in the programme to help them grow and to connect them to the right corporate partners. “As partner we can give our input on what Volvos’ needs are and what kind of start-ups we would like to see in the FastLane programme.”

The pros and cons of working with start-ups
“Interacting with start-ups is so refreshing,” Guillaume says. “You meet people who are so passionate about what they do, and they work with the latest technology and solutions. A meeting with a start-up doesn’t have to lead to commercialisation, but you always leave with new insights and inspiration. It can make you think differently and see challenges in a new way. Collaborating with a start-up can also be challenging for a big company like Volvo. Start-ups have an in-depth focus on specific capabilities and technologies, while we have a broader emphasis with an ability to scale up and implement projects globally. Although this is a great combination, the challenge is that there is only a short window for us at the Volvo Group to convert this into a fruitful partnership. Start-ups are constantly in survival mode and are aiming to succeed or fail fast, so we need to accelerate the process of finding a good match for our requirements and that is where the support from Drive TLV comes in.”