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”


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.