Towards a better future living experience

We see a future where our lives will be much easier, our time will be used more efficiently and our impact on the planet will be positive. We plan on making this happen by innovating together. We are looking for partners within the areas of Smart Factories, Smart Mobility, Robotics and Advanced Automotive Technology that can help us accelerate the path towards an improved future.

Why should you join

Ecosystem of solutions

Working with HMC Kia will give you access to a worldwide network and to a deep expertise and knowledge of the industry.

Learning opportunities

At HMC & KIA, we are constantly involved in a number of innovation initiatives and collaborations. You will have discussions and receive support from our skilled teams, as well as gain valuable insights from the projects.

Impactful collaborations and funding

Potential for POC or pilot project with one of our business units. As well, possibility of strategic future collaborations and/or funding with the most promising solutions.

Who is our ideal partner

We are looking for equal partners to split efforts with and make the change happen!

Preferably you have a validated concept and a working prototype.

You have a novel solution and plans for global scale.

Your business model is based on credible commercial and economic assumptions.

Your team presents expertise in one of our innovation challenges and is eager to work with Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation.

What are the requirements

This is a global challenge that welcomes solutions from all over the world. Participation requirements are:

  1. Preferably a minimum TRL of 5+
  2. A team size large enough to support meaningful collaboration with HMC & KIA in South-East Asia.
  3. Preferably with experience in the automotive Industry
  4. With some market traction


May 30, 2022


July 17, 2022

Applications Deadline

July - August 2022


August - September 2022


September 2022 onwards

Potential PoC/Pilot


What is Accelerate the Future Challenge ?

Accelerate the Future Challenge is a platform launched with the goal to solicit innovative startups and scaleups to collaborate with Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation. By exploiting our synergies, we can transform opportunities into impactful solutions!

What if my solution applies to mutliple challenges?

If anything this is seen as a plus as your solution clearly is very relevant, please make sure to indicate this in your application.

How does the selection work?

During every selection round, applicants are reviewed by experts from Hyundai Motor Company Kia Corporation and Unknown Group. The most promising ones will be invited for an interview to further assess the solution and explore further how a challenge collaboration or partnership with Hyundai Motor Company could look like.

How many startups will be selected?

We expect that up to twenty-five startups/scaleups will be invited to participate in the interview rounds. From the interview, the top 5 startups/scaleups will be selected to participate in the Workshop with the relevant HMC’s team. In the unlikely event that there are less than five applicants that meet the minimum scoring criteria, both Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Corporation and Unknown Group reserves the right to select fewer finalists.

Who will judge the applicants and select finalists?

Researchers and open innovation teams from HMC and Kia Corporation will review the applications and select the finalists. Unknown Group will facilitate the process.

When is the application deadline?

The application window will close on July 17, 2022 11:59 PM (Central European Time).

If I don’t have a working prototype, can I still apply?

Yes, your application will still be accepted, however, it is preferred that you have a validated concept and a working prototype. Please be sure to describe where you are in the process towards developing a working prototype and associated challenges that you are facing.

What are the terms and conditions?

The terms and conditions can be found here.

Is an interview necessary during the selection process?

Yes, once the application window closes, we will shortlist and contact the applicants to arrange interviews.

Do we have to submit all of the files requested?

Yes, all of the files requested on the application will be reviewed and required for a complete submission.

What do you mean by Proof of Concept (POC) project?

We define Proof of Concept as testing of a specific function and testing the technology in a live environment using Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation’s facilities. In the application, we request that you specify details around 1) stage of your technology 2) intended goals of collaboration 3) timeline and budget.

Are finalists guaranteed investment with Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Corporation or Unknown Group?

No, the finalists are not guaranteed investments from Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation or Unkown Group. Yet, there is budget available for development which will be assigned on a per-case-basis.

What type of investment will be deployed?

The type of investment will vary with each finalist and dependent on a successful POC project. Unfortunately, we cannot specify how much will be allocated for strategic investment at this point of time.

When should I expect to find out if I am a finalist?

We will notify you by email if you have made it to the shortlist between late July and early August, an extact date will follow pending the application deadline.