Detroit tech incubator created

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News
  • Ford, Verizon and Magna are combining to invest $2 million in the incubator.
  • A location has not been chosen, but it will be downtown.
  • Each company will receive $120,000 in funding, plus training, in exchange for equity.

Dearborn – — Ford Motor Co., Verizon Telematics and auto supplier Magna International Inc. are teaming up to fund an incubator that will support transportation-related startup businesses.

The Dearborn automaker announced Thursday that the three companies will invest $2 million to fund “Techstars Mobility, Driven by Detroit,” which will fund a total of 30 startups over the next three years. The incubator will be based in downtown Detroit at a still to be determined location.

“We’re seeing some of the most exciting consumer products and services on the market today coming from innovative startup companies,” Ford executive chairman Bill Ford said in a statement. “It will be great to be part of bringing that type of new thinking to Detroit and the automotive industry.”

Each startup selected for the incubator will receive $120,000 in funding from Ford, Magna and Verizon, plus three months of intensive training, in exchange for equity in their company shared amongst the various partners.

Initially, 10 companies will be selected for the incubator. Applications are being accepted now through March 15, and officials expect about 1,000 applicants from around the world; companies need not be based in Detroit. To apply, visit

The first program will begin in June and consist of a three-month intensive boot camp that will conclude in September. Ford, Verizon and Magna executives said they expect a wide variety of companies to apply — everything from ride-sharing services and pollution control companies, to app-makers and vehicle-to-vehicle communication companies.

Techstars was founded in Colorado in 2006 and has graduated about 400 companies that represent about $2 billion in total valuation. It has locations in other cities including Boston, Seattle, New York, Chicago, London, and San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

No location for the incubator has been announced, but it is expected to be downtown. 222-2401