Business mission to the United States: NextMove accompanies 10 companies to San Francisco with the INTonomous project

January 1, 2022

The year 2022 is off to an international start for NextMove members, with the organization of a business mission to San Francisco (USA) focusing on autonomous and connected mobility. A delegation of 10 European companies took part in the trip, benefiting from personalized presentations and meetings, as part of the European INTonomous project, coordinated by NextMove.

The European INTonomous project, financed by the COSME program and bringing together 6 European clusters, aims to create strategic European value chains bringing together innovative SMEs in the field of autonomous and connected vehicles, and to promote them outside Europe. The project is particularly aimed at the USA, Canada and the United Arab Emirates, and offers SMEs a tailor-made mission for each of these target countries.

From January 10 to 13, UC Berkeley's Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology welcomed the 11 participating European companies, including 4 NextMove members (Codenekt, Prove&Run, Sherpa Engineering, Spir Ops) and representatives of the INTonomous consortium. The 3-day program aimed to meet technology and business partners, and to facilitate this through presentations and exchanges with local experts in autonomous and connected mobility, a central and highly developed topic in the state of California.

On the first day, on the theme of "Deep Dive: Business and Commercial Strategy", European participants had the opportunity to meet and exchange views with the Director of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, as well as the General Partner of IOVC, and the Technical Manager of Uber AI. Over the course of the afternoon, several B2B meetings enabled companies to discuss potential business and technical opportunities with representatives of the local ecosystem.

The second day was devoted to the topic of "Deep Dive: Autonomous Driving": participants had the opportunity to meet the director of the University of California's PATH faculty, the CEO of WideSense and a partner from Drake Star. A very interesting overview of smart mobility trends in the USA was also provided by Vitaly Golomb from Drake Star. In the afternoon, after a captivating speech by the founder and CEO of Silicon Valley Mobility, other B2B meetings enabled companies to explore cooperative ventures with key players in the field.

The leitmotif of the third day was "Deep Dive: Investor Day": participants benefited from a variety of enriching meetings and presentations: two representatives from Waymo and Betterworks held a Fireside chat to present their entrepreneurial experiences, followed by a managing partner from U+ Venture Building who presented the crucial elements for an American Go-to-Market strategy. In the afternoon, part of the group had the opportunity to visit the SkyDeck gas pedal in Berkeley and the day ended with a very dynamic Pitch Session, where all the European SMEs and startups presented their activities and solutions and received useful feedback and suggestions from a panel of industry experts and potential investors.

The last day was dedicated to site visits: participants were able to take part in two very interesting site visits: the first to Plug and Play headquarters for a presentation of their activities in the mobility sector, and a meeting with the founder of Loft Labs at the SalesForce Tower.

The mission concluded with very positive and satisfying results for the entire group: beyond the numerous cooperation opportunities identified, very interesting insights were offered by the speakers both on the theme of autonomous and connected mobility, as well as on aspects of business strategy; all this with very enriching human encounters. Many thanks again to all participants, and we look forward to the next INTonomous mission to the Arab Emirates - stay tuned!

InMach, SpirOps, CodeNekt, Hybrid-Airplane Technologies, MinervaS, Sherpa Engineering, ADLATUS Robotics, fleXstructures, Prove&Run, VIGEM, Cliotech