The next edition of Mondial Tech will join leaders and experts from the Automotive industry, who are continuously looking for innovation and improvements in this field.This is the case of Gitte Bedford from RBVC who will be part of the jury at Mondial Tech Startup Awards.
We recently interviewed Gitte to know more about her participation and point of view regarding the Industry 4.0 in the automotive industry.
Please introduce yourself, present your experience and your role at RBVC
My name is Gitte Bedford. After an international career in finance, I joined Bosch‘s venture capital group in 2009 where we invest in startups and selected theme funds on a global scale. Our investment focus comprises four main search fields “Automation and Electrification”, “Energy Efficiency”, “Enabling Technologies” and “Healthcare”, whereas my personal focus lies in topics around the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security.
What is your current relationship with startups?
RBVC is a venture capital investor, investing in startups for a minority share with the aim of a successful exit, like any other financial investor. Its corporate angle adds a deep technology expertise and valuable connections to the industry and, specifically, to its parent Bosch, the leading automotive, building and consumer technology group.
What are the best ways for startups to stand out from the crowd today?
What investors are looking for has not changed much over the years: a stellar team that addresses a strong need in an attractive market, i.e. a large and growing market, potentially with a disruptive technology and a compelling unique selling point. Ticking all the boxes will attract investors and business partners alike.
What are the challenges that startups face in the automotive and mobility industries today? How can technology address these challenges?
On the venture capital side, we have been experiencing a huge influx of capital resulting in a large number of new players in an increasingly crowded market. It is getting more difficult for startups to differentiate and it still takes time for automotive startups to reach the revenue generation stage. Besides a compelling technology and a solid business case, a strong and patient investor base is crucial for success.
If you had to create/ invest in a startup in the automotive industry right now, what would it be / what problem would it solve?
There are still a number of unsolved problems in the higher levels of autonomous driving and room for improvements on the energy side, e.g. fast charging and reducing the cost of the battery. Interesting would be if we eventually see the “internet-of-vehicles” taking off, which would be foremost a business model play.
What are the most important trends or latest innovations in the automotive industry?
Automotive, which had traditionally been a slow-moving industry, has recently seen new technologies entering at an unprecedented rate. Traditional automotive OEMs and suppliers are getting challenged by new entrants from all corners of the world, and are themselves forming new alliances and going through a transition to be prepared for the future. Fundamental changes in transportation are fuelled by, on the one hand, changing societal attitudes (e.g. towards modes of transportation, car ownership) and, on the other hand, by technology advances in connectivity, electric and autonomous vehicles. This is very much a global trend. To give just one example: it is a Chinese startup, Nio, that claims to have the fastest EV.