Plug and Play Detroit Partners with Hyundai CRADLE and Kia for Tech Challenge

04/18/23 ID: 20425

DETROIT, MICHIGAN, April18, 2023 — Plug and Play, a global innovation platform and prevalent early-stage investor, announced plans for a collaborative Tech Challenge in partnership with Kia and Hyundai Motor Group’s corporate venturing and open innovation business, Hyundai CRADLE.

Plug and Play’s Mobility innovation platform consists of more than 90 leading brands throughout the mobility value chain, from parts and equipment manufacturers to vehicle designers and beyond. Hyundai CRADLE will grow Plug and Play Detroit’s platform to 14 partners, securing them a spot alongside partners such as Stellantis and BorgWarner and the rest of the ecosystem, including startups, academia, and investors. Together, they will explore the best technologies and innovations that can be commercially deployed for their selected technology focus areas.

Kia and Hyundai CRADLE are driving open innovation to accelerate the development of technology that aligns with Kia’s Purpose-Built Vehicle business, which is a core pillar in Kia’s transition to a sustainable mobility provider. A Purpose-Built Vehicle, or PBV, is a vehicle with a flexible platform with various creative service solutions on board that best serve the purpose of users. Kia’s PBV aims to enhance the customer-centric value proposition by forming an ecosystem around PBV, with plans also to include competent startups that can provide for various vehicle use cases.

“Hyundai CRADLE is continuously scouting for startups and external partners in the mobility space. We’re excited to partner with Plug and Play Detroit to access their extensive ecosystem to support our open innovation challenge with Kia,” said Henry Chung, Senior Vice President, Head of Hyundai CRADLE Silicon Valley.

The Purpose-Built Vehicle OI (Open Innovation) Challenge 2023, “Customer-Centric Total Mobility Solution,” is set to identify the best entrepreneurial and technological projects developed in North America in the logistics, mobility, and automotive sector. Beginning April 1st, 2023, the dedicated ventures team at Plug and Play Detroit will begin scouting startups that offer unique approaches aligned with the focus of the Challenge: Delivery & Logistics, On-Demand Mobility, and In-Car Space Design. The 10-week startup application window will be followed by interviews with the KIA team to ensure business profitability, scalability of solutions and value proposition for customers and innovation.

“We are excited to partner together with Hyundai CRADLE and Kia on their open innovation tech challenge,” said Johannes Rott, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Smart Cities at Plug and Play. “With over 50,000 startups in our network and a dedicated ventures team focused on finding emerging technologies, we are confident we can introduce KIA to industry-relevant startups that support their goal of developing PoC’s and pilots that lead to implementation.”

For a detailed view of the Tech Challenge, or if your company is interested in applying, please visit the website or contact Evan Matuszak.

About Plug and Play

Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we're present in 50+ locations across 5 continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we've invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi. For more information, visit

About Hyundai CRADLE
Hyundai CRADLE is the Hyundai Motor Group’s corporate venturing and open innovation business, which partners and invests extensively in prominent global startups to accelerate the development of advanced future automotive technologies. CRADLE identifies early-stage startups that enable a range of disruptive and transformative innovations, including mobility services, artificial intelligence, robotics, smart energy, smart cities and cybersecurity. For more information, visit

About Kia Corporation

Kia Corporation is oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles in Korea and has grown – as part of the dynamic, global Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group – to become the world’s third largest vehicle manufacturer. Kia is in the midst of transition from a traditional car manufacturer to a mobility brand that provides convenient mobility in terms of both products and services. Kia’s foray into the PBV sector is a pivotal step outlined in Kia’s Plan S strategy, with the ultimate aim to become a global leader in sustainable mobility solutions. For more information, visit

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