Presenting Cohort 7, Summer 2017

We guess the old adage “Time flies when you’re having fun” is true, because although it seems like just last week we announced Cohort 6, it wasn’t. Three months have passed and we’ve officially welcomed two new companies into our program.

On July 24th, Tyfone and SIMPLENIGHT joined us at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator, making up our seventh cohort since launching last year. With one company working to increase data security, and the other focused on personalizing consumer experiences, these startups are working on issues that directly impact our customers today.

In the hyper-connected digital world of cloud, mobility, and IoT (Internet of Things), legacy security methods have proven to be ineffective because they trade-off convenience for security and result in a fragmented array of solutions. This ineffectiveness and fragmentation affects ease of access to everything from financial services to connected cars.

Enter Tyfone, with the goal of bringing digital security that is convenient and converged. By inventing energy efficient technologies, Tyfone brings the security of chips in your credit card to the convenience of using your mobile phones through its patented SideCard™ product. SideCard packs security, radio and battery technologies in an easy to carry ultra-thin credit card form factor that otherwise would be 25 times larger. With a simple push of a button it delivers the highest level of security sufficient for military grade applications without the need for complex passwords and cumbersome enrollment.

Tyfone currently has 140 issued and pending patents, and serves key industries with converged omnichannel security needs such as financial services, critical infrastructure, transportation, and the US Government.

As cars become increasingly connected, shared and autonomous, the transportation industry will become the hub for enabling a variety of payment and commerce services. Such services require both security and convenience – not trading-off one for the other. When it comes to connected cars, Jaguar Land Rover is always looking for new ways to increase security and convenience for its customers. Tyfone’s solution provides opportunities to explore secure access to connected cars, as well as secure enrollment into apps for transportation services. By collaborating with Tyfone, Jaguar Land Rover hopes to provide customers with a wide range of personalized transportation services that are secure, “push button,” and convenient.

SIMPLENIGHT is a Business to Business (B2B) Global Distribution Platform for In-Destination Experiences such as tours, activities, dining, shows, events, attractions, transportation, nightlife, hotels, and more. SIMPLENIGHT enables companies to sell all of the things to do in a city to their customers in addition to their own core offering, while sharing in the revenue.

SIMPLENIGHT currently offers consumers over 500,000 bookable products in more than 1,300 destinations spanning over 150 countries.

Jaguar Land Rover customers want customized experiences – and we want to deliver them. Partnering with SIMPLENIGHT allows us to explore giving our customers the ability to search and purchase personalized experiential inventory in hundreds of cities, and across numerous verticals worldwide, from the comfort of their vehicle.

Our customers are our number one priority at Jaguar Land Rover. Accordingly, we’re excited to work with Tyfone and SIMPLENIGHT over the next six months to find new and better ways to serve them. We can’t wait to see what’s ahead!

If you’re part of a startup working on something innovative in the mobility space and would like to learn more about the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator program, click here

Introducing our Spring 2017 Cohort

If you’re active on any social media sites, you’ve probably read that here in Portland we’ve been having the second wettest stretch of months in 75 years. It’s been really wearing on us… but the good news is we’re seeing the sun again – and we’re pretty excited about it. There’s other good news for us to be excited about, too: our next Cohort!

Earlier this month we welcomed two companies, LISNR and PILOT, to the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator. These companies joined us May 1st and make up our sixth cohort since launching the program in January of 2016. One takes us into a new space: data transmission over audio, and the other provides opportunities to continue advancing our explorations into the connected car space.

Read on to learn more about LISNR and PILOT and why they were selected to participate in our program.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to facilitate connections between devices in close proximity to each other due to issues like bad connectivity, limited range, battery drainage, and the need for additional hardware. LISNR’s aims to solve these problems – and more – through its proprietary ultrasonic audio technology which uses software and sound to securely transmit customizable streams of data every second over audio that is just above the human hearing range.

LISNR’s current goal is to improve overall in-car connectivity as it relates to seat personalization, remote app pairing, and keyless access. The company is also working to eliminate the risks of peer-to-peer data transmission over connected devices through its ability to transmit data in an offline environment.

Jaguar Land Rover is excited to partner with LISNR and explore future use of the existing in car audio system for applications beyond just audio such as proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, and in-vehicle aggregated media experiences.

PILOT’s mission is to reduce the number of lives that are lost in traffic accidents every year. The startup believes that existing cars could be made smarter and safer by using their technology.

Instead of developing a fully autonomous car which could take 10 to 15 years, PILOT has built a 3-part solution that offers the ability to apply modern Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features, and autonomous driving capabilities, to legacy vehicles currently on the roads.

PILOT can assist with navigation, monitoring of blind spots, road sign recognition, surround view, collision avoidance, emergency 911 calls, parking assistance, lane departure alert, and obstacle detection. Through collaboration with the PILOT team we will be able to further investigate using crowd sourced data from aftermarket Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) solutions to build the next generation of autonomy algorithms.

The technologies LISNR and PILOT are developing present us with endless opportunities to broaden our scope of knowledge across future technologies. We’re excited to spend the next six months working alongside these teams, and looking forward to seeing what comes out of the partnerships.

Applications for our next cohort are now open. If you’re part of a startup building innovative technology that has the potential to be adapted and/or integrated into an automotive environment and would like to learn more about the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator program, simply click here.

Company Showcase, AVE AutoMedia, Summer 2016 Cohort

It’s only a matter of time before autonomous (aka self-driving) cars become a common, and even ubiquitous, part of our lives. With drivers freed up from concentrating on the road, they’ll find themselves with significantly more time for productivity, catching up on tasks, and even just relaxing.

Looking into that future, AVE AutoMedia, one of three startups in our Summer 2016 cohort, works with media publishers and OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to develop next generation media technology and apps for drivers and passengers.

Infotainment systems are catching up with consumer electronics and apps are now a part of the in-car experience.  These “connected cars” represent an opportunity for media companies and app developers – and AVE is addressing this opportunity with a platform for developing connected car apps.

The first application developed with the AVE Platform is Neptune, a video network for kids that works on tablets and compatible infotainment systems. For OEM’s, Neptune addresses the demand for tablet-based rear-seat entertainment and is one of the first applications designed for passengers.  Neptune will also be the first video application with connected car integration. (Most connected car apps today are for music, navigation, and weather.)  

Neptune is different from video networks like YouTube Kids because it focuses on STEM education with curated videos that are categorized into age-appropriate stations.  The app introduces kids to fun and educational content, while keeping parents involved by giving them remote control over what videos their kids are watching.  Parents have a dashboard within the app that allows them to set viewing limits and see what types of content their children are watching. And when Neptune is used with infotainment systems, parents will have control over content on multiple devices from the infotainment screen.  

Neptune also incorporates adventures that are destinations such as science centers, zoos, national parks, and libraries.  When adventures are selected, a video station is created to match the duration of the trip with content that is related to the destination.  Neptune allows for an uninterrupted viewing experience from the home to the car and back.  

In working with AVE during their six-month stay with us, Jaguar Land Rover was able to continue our advancements in maximizing and reinventing the driver and passenger experience, and the performance and efficiency with which those features can be delivered. In fact, Neptune was developed during AVE’s time in the JLR Incubator.

Since graduating the program in December 2016, the company has kept their extraordinary momentum and we couldn’t be more excited to see what they build next!

“Our team moved to Portland for the JLR Incubator because we wanted to gain access and insights about building a startup in the automotive ecosystem.  We wanted an intensive six months in Portland.  We got out of our daily routines and were able to focus on building our company.   The information that we received in the first few weeks was critical in validating and accelerating our product development.  We see the collaboration between established companies and startups as a great path to innovation.  Now we focus on building a great product that our customers will love!” Ryan McManus, CEO & Co-Founder, AVE”


Happy Anniversary to Us


Oh how time flies!

Back in late 2014/early 2015, Jaguar Land Rover was investigating how to work with startups in order to advance innovation within the organization as well as the automotive industry as a whole. Fast forward to the opening of the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator in 2016…

… and the beginning of something that’s been truly fantastic.

It’s hard to believe that was a year ago, but it was. And wow, what an amazing year it’s been. We’ve learned, we’ve flourished, we’ve shined. We’ve gotten stronger, we’ve gotten better, and, well, we feel like there’s really no stopping us now!

As we celebrate our accomplishments and highlights during “Year One,” we thought we’d take a moment to share a view into what it’s looked for those of us here on the inside:

In our first year we’ve consumed 5,040 cups of coffee, hosted 24 “Family Dinners,” eaten 168 donuts, gone on 16 team building outings, and even taken part in a paintball adventure!

We’ve grown our Incubator staff from one person to a team of six men and women who bring knowledge, expertise, and a whole lot of laughter and excitement to our office daily.

We’ve welcomed 12 startups with 35 team members total, working on products and technologies from in-vehicle voice assistants, to state-of-the-art drones, to devices that monitor the health of your car, to programs that help consumers recoup transportation costs.

We’ve seen our startups become leaders in developing Smart City programs, partner with Nike, Reach Now, and Lyft, make appearances on Fox Business, and garner major investor interest.

We’ve had over 150 mentors around the globe offer expertise to our startups over 300 times through workshops, fireside chats, and participation in internal events.

We’ve built a program Jaguar Land Rover can be proud of.

Even more importantly, though, we’ve built a program we, the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator team, are proud of.

As we look ahead at the next nine years, the future looks grand. From continuing to partner with exciting startups, to developing relationships with inspiring mentors, to building alliances with esteemed investors, we see endless opportunities to continue making our program even stronger and more valuable for startups.

Further, we’re keyed up about the possibilities for our program to help advance innovation for Jaguar Land Rover. From delving deeper into technologies like computing, connectivity, and conversational UI, as well as expanding further into the fields of autonomous vehicles, smart interfaces, and mapping, the opportunities for us to impact the future of automotive, mobility, and connected car are boundless.

Basically, what it comes down to is that our first year has been one heck of an amazing ride – and we can’t wait to go again, and again, and again. We hope you’ll stay right here with us!

– Danielle, Blake, Andrew, Madeline, Tami, and Harry  – aka The Jaguar Land Rover Incubator Team




Say Hello to Our Winter 2017 Cohort

The Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator welcomes three new companies into its Winter 2017 Cohort, marking the one-year anniversary of the program’s launch.

HAAS Alert, Mycroft, and OpConnect are the latest three startups to join the incubator, covering the fields of emergency response technology, artificial intelligence, and the electric vehicle ecosystem. Together they further diversify and strengthen the portfolio of ventures the program has supported.

HAAS Alert is a mobile platform for connected cars, autonomous vehicles, and smart cities, that allows first responders and other city services to send notifications to nearby drivers about road and roadside safety issues such as accidents, emergency vehicles in transit, or first responders personnel on scene. The technology can also reroute traffic accordingly via navigation apps.

Increasing driver and passenger safety is one of Jaguar Land Rover highest priorities. Working with HAAS Alert we have the opportunity to explore potential links between connected cars and safety, and investigate news ways of keeping drivers better informed when on the road.

Mycroft is Artificial Intelligence hardware that uses software to recognize natural language and respond to voice commands. Whether in the home, office, or garage, Mycroft can adjust your thermostat, turn on your lights, start your coffee, find answers on the Internet, play your favorite movie, or launch your favorite playlist. And Mycroft was built with open source software, which means that programmers have the ability to constantly contribute new features and modules and make it more capable, more useful, and more fun to use, all the time.

From reducing driver distractions, to increasing convenience and usability, Jaguar Land Rover is eager to team up with Mycroft and explore the many ways voice activation for the car can enhance our customers’ experience.

OpConnect sells and operates Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations — a vital component of the electric vehicle ecosystem. Customers can use the website to manage their accounts, locate the closest EV charging station, and remotely check the status of their battery recharging. OpConnect charging stations can also be used to share data and manage fleet operations.

Both Jaguar Land Rover and OpConnect are committed to reducing gas emissions by encouraging mass adoption of electric vehicle technology.  With the recent announcement of the Jaguar I-PACE, Jaguar Land Rover has shown that it remains on the edge of innovating in this space, and we look forward to partnering with OpConnect to explore future opportunities.

Here at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator, we continue to grow our stellar community of innovators who are pushing the boundaries of mobility and connected cars. With the addition of HAAS Alert, Mycroft, and Opconnect, it’s looking like our second year will be off to an incredible start – and we couldn’t be more excited.

Applications for our next cohort are open through tomorrow, Friday, February 10th. If you’re part of a startup working in automotive tech, the mobility space, or connected car technologies, and would like to learn more about the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator program, simply click here.

A Warm Welcome to our Fall 2016 Cohort

Fall has arrived in Portland, and with a change of seasons comes a new batch of companies at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator.

We are pleased to welcome our next cohort: Mogol, a startup focused on increasing fuel efficiency; Nouvola, a startup developing technology which speeds and optimizes software performance; and HeadsUP!, a startup building voice-recognition hardware for cars. This will be the fourth set of companies to join the Incubator, as well as the final cohort of our first year.

(Happy almost birthday to us!)

Jaguar Land Rover has committed to working with 120 early stage mobility-focused startups over the next ten years. So far we’ve collaborated with nine companies building everything from smart things, to in-vehicle entertainment technologies, to drones, to software for automotive service centers. These next three startups bring opportunities to explore innovation across new areas, and to stretch the limits of our imagination of the future of mobility.

Lowering emissions is a priority for Jaguar Land Rover, as is increasing fuel efficiency. The company has lowered its fleet CO2 average by 25% since 2007, and we continue to explore solutions to keep the needle moving. This is one reason why we’re thrilled to welcome Mogol into the Fall Cohort. Mogol’s technology adjusts the driver’s speed via the vehicle’s cruise control system based on traffic, navigation, and topographical conditions in order to optimize fuel consumption and reduce emissions.

Nouvola, the second company to be joining us this month, is building user-friendly software that helps companies build, test, iterate, and deploy solutions faster than ever. Nouvola’s ability to seamlessly integrate with existing development operations systems could help increase the speed and performance of Jaguar Land Rover’s infotainment software, effectively delivering an even better experience to its customers.

The final company in the Fall Cohort, HeadsUP!, is developing an in-vehicle voice assistant. Drivers will be able to use HeadsUP! for assistance with navigation, sending texts, making calls, and even playing music. The 6-month partnership with HeadsUP! provides the opportunity for Jaguar Land Rover to explore new approaches to enhancing our vehicle features sets, while increasing customer safety by reducing driver distractions.

We’re excited to work alongside this diverse mix of startups to create new proofs of concept, and continue our journey into the frontier of future technologies. We have no doubts that these companies – and their teams – will be a stellar addition to the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator.

Company Showcase: Sleeker, Summer 2016 Cohort

Sleeker* – Summer Cohort 2016

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of an auto service center?

Well, probably not…

But trust us: the systems that these centers use to schedule your work, create estimates, and communicate with you can make all the difference in your experience and level of satisfaction.

Enter Sleeker, an end-to-end software solution for auto service centers that’s well positioned to disrupt the current market for vehicle service software.

Sleeker’s software is focused on managing workflow that helps businesses increase efficiency and productivity, and allows for more continuous and transparent communication with their customers. It includes dynamic scheduling tools, service and work estimation features, the ability for service centers to communicate directly with customers, and an API for consumer-facing apps.

Jaguar Land Rover, a company that is always finding new ways to increase efficiencies for its service centers and transparency for its customers, has naturally been excited about the potential of Sleeker. Its founder, Phat Le, started as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator and after impressing the team, has moved on up to join the official Summer 2016 Incubator Cohort.

Jaguar Land Rover and Sleeker will work in collaboration to determine how best to extend the Lyfeboat platform for direct vehicle integration for automated service scheduling and fleet management optimization, as well as better supply and inventory management for service providers.

“We’re really grateful to be part of the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator. We started here as Entrepreneurs-In-Residence and definitely learned a lot about the auto industry and the current pain points that many service centers and auto shops are experiencing.

Now that we’ve joined the Incubator program officially, our goal for the next couple months is to finish our pilots with small businesses that we are working with and to continue building out our platform to prove out our business model. We then want to use our technology and those learnings to improve the efficiency and driver experience for larger auto shops and dealerships.” – Phat Le, CEO & Co-Founder, Sleeker

*Note to Readers: The founders of Lyfeboat recently rebranded the company, including the changing the business name to Sleeker.

Company Showcase: SICdrone, Spring 2016 Cohort

In order to shed a bit more light on what we’re doing here at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator – and who we’re doing it with – we will be shining a spotlight on one of our startups every few weeks.

Since Winter Cohort 2016 has ended and we’re headlong into Summer Cohort 2016, we decided to start right in the middle with SICdrone, one of the three companies making up our Spring Cohort 2016.

SICdrone – Spring Cohort 2016

Drones, drones, drones.

Amateur photographers and flight enthusiasts can’t seem to get enough of the latest products to hit the shelves, but drones have immense potential for uses beyond flying for hobby. From search and rescue to agriculture to transportation, drones could have a game-changing impact on a vast array of industries and social challenges.

Drones are long overdue for a drastic reboot, necessary to ensure their capabilities match their far-reaching possibilities. SICdrone is one startup that’s reimagining the design, performance, and reach of the multi-copter drone. Joining the Spring 2016 Cohort at the Incubator, the startup’s team of aerospace engineers, product developers, and engineers, is creating and manufacturing a series of hover-type drones that fly faster, farther, and with greater capability than anything like it on the market.

Jaguar Land Rover is interested in exploring potential use cases of drones in a vehicle context. We anticipate these machines could potentially provide our customers with more accurate real-time traffic information, expanded views of upcoming terrain, and a multitude of other potential applications that provide drivers with unique “birds-eye” insights.

We believe that SICdrone, with its innovative product design, is well-positioned to experiment in this space with us to create a better experience for our customers. We’re excited to work with them to explore their products’ potential for the automotive industry.

“Working in the Jaguar Land Rover Incubator has been great in the fact that it has really pushed us to explore more deeply the idea of pairing drones with ground-based vehicles. The partnership has opened up avenues that would have taken years and compressed the time-frame down to a few months. It’s been awesome to see the benefits drones can provide to off-road vehicle drivers performing scan-terrain-ahead type tasks and also for first responders.  For instance, we are looking into a drone that deploys from a fire chief’s vehicle with a camera sensor package that helps to keep firefighters safe by quickly scanning a burning building for hot spots prior to entry.” – Dan Bosch, CEO & Founder, SICdrone





Summer at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator

It’s mid-July, summer is in full swing in Portland, and we have officially welcomed the next wave of startups to join the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator: AVE, Validated, and Lyfeboat.

AVE, Validated, and Lyfeboat make up the third six-month cohort in the ten-year Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator program. As part of their acceptance into the Incubator, each company receives a combination of direct investment and services, Jaguar Land Rover global engineering and design resources, strategic support from the Incubator staff, mentorship from industry leaders, and designated office space in the Incubator facility.

Like the cohorts before them, these tech startups are working to break new ground in the automotive industry. From in-car entertainment experiences for autonomous vehicles, to merchant loyalty programs that reward drivers, to software that manages repair and maintenance logistics for service centers and vehicle owners throughout the vehicle’s life, it’s clear to us that the companies share the Jaguar Land Rover spirit of innovation.

A little about our Summer Cohort companies:

AVE optimizes in-vehicle entertainment experiences to meet the expectations of the growing number of passengers, in both the front and rear of cars. Using AVE’s technology, brands can deliver existing content to infotainment systems in a format that is highly efficient, easily consumable and consistent with other in-car user control models.

In working with AVE, Jaguar Land Rover looks to continue our advancements in maximizing and reinventing the driver experience and the performance and efficiency with which those features can be delivered.

Validated is a platform that feeds local commerce by connecting brick-and-mortar businesses to transportation networks. Currently live in Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles, the app lets shops, restaurants and other businesses buy their customers a ride or pay for their parking as a way to show appreciation, boost spending, and build loyalty. Validated users recoup their transportation costs by meeting minimum spending requirements, and Validated merchants drive sales without undermining the integrity of their brand.

Validated provides Jaguar Land Rover with a fantastic opportunity to continue our mission of maximizing the driving experience.  Beyond the monetary and loyalty incentives provided to users, Jaguar Land Rover will look to work with Validated in a few key areas, including bridging the everyday consumer experience with smart city technology, and providing better data regarding transportation and infrastructure-use patterns.

Lyfeboat is an end-to-end software solution for auto-service centers. Lyfeboat increases service center efficiency by providing logistical tools for managing the work process, ordering parts, tracking vehicle maintenance and repair history, and more. The software also enhances the customer experience by offering an easy scheduling interface, simplifying communication during the repair process, and ensuring transparency.

Jaguar Land Rover wants to increase efficiencies for its service centers and transparency for its customers. Lyfeboat is a promising new platform that we believe may disrupt the current market for vehicle service software.

With cutting-edge technologies and stellar teams, these three companies that make up the Summer 2016 Cohort are a wonderful addition to the (still in-house) Spring Cohort. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have them on board and look forward to the collaborations ahead!

Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator Welcomes Spring 2016 Cohort

The Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator is pleased to announce its newest crop of companies accepted into the Spring 2016 cohort: Carfit, SICdrone, and Workfrom.

The three companies span a wildly diverse range of future infotainment offerings, from a diagnostic tool; to a drone technology with innovative camera systems; to software that helps mobile professionals find a workspace on the go. The latter two in particular — out of the bounds of what one would deem an automotive company — demonstrate the range of what connected car technology could enable.

The companies make up the second cohort in Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator, a 10-year program to support and advance startups whose products carve a path for the future of connected cars. Each company gains funding, access to Jaguar Land Rover global engineering resources, design support from Jaguar Land Rover’s Portland team, residence in state-of-the-art office space, mentorship from world-class leaders across a range of industries, and a community of others in the startup space to offer peer support.

Here’s the lowdown on each of the companies:

Carfit measures the health of your car like a doctor checks your pulse. Through a device located on the steering wheel, Carfit’s technology dynamically monitors vibrations and conveys diagnostic information via an app, providing insights and frictionless relationships with auto service centers and dealerships.

Why was Jaguar Land Rover compelled by this company? Carfit is looking at future technology that translates to a better experience for vehicle owners.

SICdrone develops and manufactures consumer and commercial drones with a design that provides capability for 2-3 times top speed and up to 5 times farther flights compared to existing multicopter drones, along with expanded photography capability through its variety of camera systems.

Jaguar Land Rover is interested in exploring potential use cases of drones in a vehicle context as they could potentially provide our customers with unique “birds-eye” insights. We believe that SICdrone, with its innovative technology design, is well positioned to experiment in this space with us.

Workfrom helps mobile professionals find an optimal spot to work on the fly. It’s a web and mobile platform that helps people find reliable places to park their laptops and get work done based on the things they need like good WiFi, access to power outlets and low noise levels.

Many of Jaguar Land Rover’s customers are young professionals, entrepreneurs, remote workers, business travelers, and freelancers — and they all need multiple places to get work done as they move around. Millions of these professionals are often tasked with finding an office for the day, so why not find a way to do so directly from their car? We are currently exploring the potential value of in-vehicle integration.

We’re thrilled for the companies to be joining us. They’re all moved in and the energy is high as they engage with their fellow incubator companies (including the Winter Cohort, with which they overlap), Jaguar Land Rover staff, and the greater startup community. We’re working with them now on next steps, project plans, and mentorship.

Stay tuned for an update on their progress.