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This ten-week program, based at the Americas Regional Services Center in Columbus, Ohio will enable startups to trial their products at scale, network with industry experts, receive mentoring from the leadership team of the BMW Group Financial Services NA and access funding from L Marks.

Applications are now closed

Working with BMW Group Financial Services, Americas Region.

The Collaboration lab will involve both BMW Group Financial Services and the BMW Bank, which cover the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil, giving startups access to a large potential market for collaboration and innovation. Successful startups will have access to first-class mentorship, accessing insights from leading subject matter experts in the automotive and auto finance sectors.

The ten-week program will be run in collaboration with corporate innovation specialist L Marks. Successful candidates will be co-located at the offices of BMW Group Financial Services in Columbus, Ohio and will be able to access data, gather insights and aim to test their products/services in live customer environments.

From Ian Smith
CEO of BMW Group Financial Services NA

“BMW Group Financial Services Collaboration Lab is designed to ensure the alignment and enhancement of our overall vision of transforming how people access and enjoy personal mobility, today.  This will have long-lasting effects on our business and positively impact our customers and dealer partners.

By working collaboratively with talented entrepreneurial companies, we will drive new thinking, explore new technologies and develop pioneering solutions. We will ensure that we continue to remain highly relevant and meaningful for our customers well in to the future. Collaboration is where innovation and implementation meet.”

Areas of interest.

The BMW Collaboration Lab will focus on five key innovation challenges:

Digitizing the Customer Journey.

We’re looking for solutions to engage new potential targeted customer demographics such as millennials with the BMW brand, as well as owning a BMW vehicle, in a very different way. We would like to offer our customers more options for either an omnichannel or a totally digital journey, focused primarily around websites and apps, to enhance the current purchasing experience.

Sponsor Jorge Bautista

Data Analytics and Insights.

We would like this Collaboration Lab to deliver analytical solutions which can be implemented within the business to improve customer and commercial underwriting functions; solutions that can provide a clearer viewpoint of potential Residual Values through the analysis of data and provide actionable insights.

Sponsor Paula Goble

Building a Blockchain Strategy.

We are looking to examine any and all methods of how blockchain ledgers could support the transformation of current data warehousing, payment and customer information tracking. Ultimately, our goal is to enable BMW to automate a lot of processing and increase the tracking and security of information.

Sponsor Claudia Latsch-Imasuen

Lease Returns and Life Cycle Management.

We are looking for opportunities to streamline the lease-end process and to introduce new technologies which can improve customer satisfaction. We are looking for solutions to provide greater information, data and insight into the life cycle of the vehicle to enable smarter decisioning around used cars.

Sponsor Jorge Bautista


If you also have an idea which isn’t listed under the categories above but is relevant to the business of BMW Group Financial Services NA, then please apply. Surprise us!

Sponsor Neal Crouch


17 June 2018

Applications close

Applications close 17th June 23:59 EST.

24 July 2018

Pitch day

Pitch Day is your startup’s chance to pitch to a BMW senior leadership team to win a place in the Collaboration Lab. You’ll have the chance to expand on your application and convince the panel that you’re right for the program.

03 September 2018

Program starts

The ten-week intensive collaboration starts here. Over this time, we’ll set key objectives for what you want to achieve in collaboration with BMW and get mentorship from senior leaders and external experts to help you towards these goals.

19 November 2018

Demo day

Demo Day is where you’ll show us what your startup has achieved over the 10 weeks and present your proposal for future engagement with BMW.

Get in touch

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BMW Group Financial Services was established in the U.S. in 1992 to support the sales and marketing of BMW products. Since then, the Group has expanded to provide service to markets in multiple countries and continues to evolve beyond its role as a captive finance unit. BMW Group Financial Services offers a wide range of leasing, retail and commercial financing and banking products tailored to meet the needs of the BMW customer. The Group also provides financing to BMW dealers for expanding dealership capabilities and enhancing overall operations. With more than $45 billion in serviced assets and 1,300,000 automotive lending customers across the U.S., BMW Group Financial Services finances more than three-quarters of the BMWs sold or leased in North America. BMW Group Financial Services employs more than 1,000 people, including consultants and temporary workers, many of whom are located in Hilliard, Ohio, which serves the U.S.A., Brazilian, Canadian and Mexican markets through its Regional Service Center.

In 2001, the MINI Financial Services division was established to provide support for the brand’s dealers and its customers by offering financing and leasing options and branded financial services products.

BMW Group Financial Services also offers credit card products through its subsidiary, the BMW Bank of North America. is a division of BMW Bank of North America, a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW Financial Services NA, LLC. BMW Insurance Agency, Inc., a property and casualty producer is also part of BMW Group Financial Services.  Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:


L Marks is a corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor. They build bridges between large corporates seeking to innovate more quickly with young companies with disruptive technologies, products and services. Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Stuart Marks, they run bespoke start-up partnership programmes across industry sectors, supporting rapid innovation and connecting them with the best start-ups.

They work with clients such as Arsenal, Lloyds of London and British Airways to identify where they believe the challenges are in their businesses and then turn these into opportunities for improvement and innovation. Each program is tailored to deliver real solutions to the corporate partners and create real opportunities for start-up to test and grow their product with a major partner.