Hyundai-Kia Reveals Details of ZER01NE Creative Platform Promoting Pioneering Startups at CES 2023

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation have released details of the ZER01NE Creative Talent Platform, with which they will showcase innovative startups at CES 2023. The ZER01NE Platform highlights Hyundai Motor Group’s strategy of building relationships with and nurturing an ecosystem for creators and startups. The ZER01NE Pavilion will be located at Venetian Exo 1st floor Eureka Park.

Ten startups are exhibiting in the ZER01NE pavilion, developing solutions for a diverse range of challenges. These range from digital therapy for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to advanced camera technology that provides a human-like wide field of view to smart robots.

“Many of the disruptive breakthroughs that are shaping the transformation of mobility are coming from startups operating outside the automotive industry. Therefore, it is essential that Hyundai Motor Group leaves no avenue unexplored when researching future technologies,” said Dr. Yunseong Hwang, Vice President and Head of Open Innovation Execution Group at Hyundai Motor Group.

“The ZER01NE initiative enables the Group to engage with the best and brightest next-generation startups to develop innovative solutions. The influence of the ZER01NE Creative Talent Platform reaches far beyond the automotive and mobility sectors to accelerate the development of technology that will also deliver benefits for humanity as a whole.”

The ZER01NE initiative is presented at CES within an exclusive ZER01NE Pavilion, which features an open-plan layout and an array of interactive exhibitions for guests to enjoy. The pavilion is divided into four zones. The Startup Zone presents ten startup companies. Five of these are presented by the ZER01NE Accelerator program, operated by Hyundai Motor and Kia, which nurtures relationships with and fosters the growth of external startups worldwide. The remaining five startups have been formed internally within the Group, based on ideas and innovations that have come from employees, and are promoted by the Group’s internal ZER01NE Company Builder program.

Each of the external startups has benefitted from participation in the Group’s ZER01NE Accelerator program. This enabled them to apply to one of 38 projects derived by the Group’s internal teams under seven key themes: auto tech, in-car user experience (UX), charging, mobility services, smart logistics, smart construction, and materials. Each startup was limited to one specific project. The successful applicants were provided with a project budget and have the potential to be evaluated for equity investments.

Since the Group introduced the ZER01NE Accelerator in 2018, 125 teams from 11 affiliates of the Group and 96 startups have worked together on 80 collaborative projects. This has led to 51 startups successfully receiving equity investments from the Group.

The five startups participating in the ZER01NE Accelerator program under the ZER01NE Team are eMOTIV, 60Hz, Argosvision, Cellplus Korea and XYZ.

The Group also encourages its employees to think creatively and get involved in developing pioneering ideas. The Group’s ZER01NE Company Builder initiative is designed to take the very best of those ideas and progress them further. The program provides selected ideas with up to 240,000 USD of funding for development expenses. Following a year of development, the ideas undergo spin-off deliberation with the potential to become an external-facing entity or provide in-house commercialization. Employees can also enlist the guidance of external experts to help develop their startup teams and their ideas.

The five startups under the ZER01NE Company Builder program exhibiting at the ZER01NE pavilion at CES 2023 are VODA AI, Difon, Fittrix, Wondermove and AutoL.

Within the ZER01NE Pavilion at CES, each of the 10 startups has its own individual exhibition area, where visitors can meet personnel and learn more about the innovations that the startup is developing. Further information on the ZER01NE initiative is provided in the pavilion INFO Zone, where visitors can participate in Q&A sessions. The ZER01NE Zone, which is spread across three individual areas, provides further information and brand identity touch points.

Looking forward, Hyundai Motor and Kia will continue their investment in and commitment to the ZER01NE Creative Platform as it nurtures early-stage startups and transforms their concepts into reality. This will enable the Group to cement its lead in fields such as AI, Smart Mobility, Smart City, New Energy, Logistics and Robotics.  As always, the reach of ZER01NE will extend much further than the automotive and mobility sectors, as it seeks to deliver technological solutions that benefit all of humanity.

Proven formula

Hyundai Motor Group has successfully executed numerous startup collaborations in recent years. In 2017, the Group introduced technology developed by vehicle air quality management solutions provider Embiome into its factories in India. A spin-off company of the Group, Embiome developed a unique microorganism coating for vehicle air conditioner cores to keep the air within the system clean. This year, the technology will be introduced to all the Group’s vehicles globally.

The group’s determination to take a fully sustainable approach to battery production, recycling and reuse is fortified by its support for Korean mobility startup Poen. The company specializes in giving new life to discarded EV batteries and participates in the development and quality analysis of batteries for new vehicles.

The Group will continue to leave no stone unturned in its pursuit of the very best and most innovative technologies to develop sustainable mobile solutions and benefit humanity. This approach is typified by the latest 10 startups promoted through the ZER01NE Creative Platform at CES 2023 and the pioneering solutions they are developing.

About Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group is a global enterprise that has created a value chain based on mobility, steel, and construction, as well as logistics, finance, IT, and service. With about 250,000 employees worldwide, the Group’s mobility brands include Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis. Armed with creative thinking, cooperative communication and the will to take on any challenges, we strive to create a better future for all.

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