2024 Mobility Cohort

Launch Your Mobility Idea

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2024 Mobility Cohort

Register for an informational webinar

Let us help you get your idea off the sidelines. The Builders + Backers Idea Accelerator is a virtual, idea-stage program that takes aspiring founders from concept to first launch. Our proven approach to testing ideas has helped launched hundreds of ventures. In the Builders + Backers Mobility Idea Accelerator, participants will join a select group of mobility founders and experts in entrepreneurship and the mobility industry.

Funding and Frameworks for Mobility Entrepreneurs

The earliest stages of an idea are often the hardest to get the help and funding that you need, especially when tackling problems as large as in the mobility industry. That’s why the Builders + Backers Idea Accelerator focused on mobility. Through the Idea Accelerator, every participant learns the secrets to turning an idea into a thriving venture and is eligible for up to $5,000 in non-dilutive funding. Best of all, what you learn will help you grow any venture in the fastest, most cost-effective way possible. Join the hundreds of other Builders we’ve helped to get started by applying today.

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December 11, 2023

Applications Open

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February 11, 2024

Applications Close

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March 26, 2024

Cohort Kickoff

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August 13, 2024

Cohort Finishes

Schedule

Mobility Cohort Details

The Idea Accelerator is a cohort-based program, in this case supported by experts in the entrepreneurship and mobility industries.‍ Kickstart your idea and apply to join if you are: someone with an idea for a potential new business in the mobility industry, looking for experienced guidance to get on the right pathway to launch, and want a supportive team as you begin your entrepreneurial journey‍. Participation is open to anyone in the country and spots are limited. Click below to start your application!

What Do We Mean by Mobility?

For the Mobility Cohort in partnership with Capital One, we are looking for a wide-range of ideas in the industry.

Mobility is the industry of transporting people and goods. The Mobility Cohort starts with what we see: transportation and vehicles–but that’s not all. We’re looking for ideas that go far beyond simply getting us from point A to B. From automotive marvels and cutting-edge technologies to interconnected solutions that create seamless transportation experiences, we want to see it all.

For a full description of the applicable definition of mobility, check out the FAQs section below.

2024 Mobility Cohort

Eligible Regions for

2024 Mobility Cohort

Anyone living in the United States with an idea-stage mobility idea is eligible to apply.

Eligible Regions

Nationwide

Alumni Cities

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Idea Accelerator?

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The Idea Accelerator is a program designed to be your onramp to entrepreneurship. It equips participants (called Builders) with world-class entrepreneurial tools to test their idea, fueled by up to $5,000 no-strings-attached funding.

How Many Idea Accelerator Cohorts Have There Been?

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The Idea Accelerator has been running consistently since the Summer of 2021. The Alumni community now numbers over 500 Builders.

Is the Idea Accelerator Virtual or In-Person?

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The program takes place virtually with all sessions and meetings occurring over Zoom or phone calls. Mobility cohort Builders may have an opportunity for in-person gatherings but doing so will not be required.

How Long Is the Application?

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The application is short and straightforward. With some preparation, most applicants can complete it in under 30 minutes. Your application will be thoroughly reviewed by the Builders + Backers program team, along with program sponsors.

How Does the Program Define Mobility?

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Mobility is the industry of transporting people and goods. It not only includes automotive but also all the other industries that provide the vehicles, alternative forms of transit, and infrastructure for transportation in general.

That includes, but is not limited to:
- Vehicles and OEM / aftermarket production and products
- Electronics and software in-vehicle
Vehicle connectivity, payment technology, media integration, and voice and gesture identification to develop innovative cockpits that can provide new kinds of content and enable in-vehicle commerce
- E-hailing (virtually ordering a transportation service) and ride-sharing
- Mobility-as-a-service
- Semiconductors, and sensors that are the core of driving assistance systems and autonomous driving.
- Electrification, charging, batteries and the EV infrastructure
- Micro-mobility and alternative modes of movement (bicycles, e-bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, shared bicycle fleets, electric pedal assisted bikes)
- Mobility sharing platforms for usership rather than ownership
- Drones and drone transit or delivery
- Smart lanes, roadways and tolling
- Air, rail and other forms of mass transit
- Mobility Financing
- Smart infrastructure
- Artificial intelligence, big data, hardware, software, platforms, and tools that support or disrupt the mobility industry

What Types of Mobility Ideas Are a Best Match for the Program?

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We are looking for bold, compelling, novel, and innovative ideas but ones that are in the idea-stage. The idea should be well defined and articulated in an easily understandable way. Ideally the problem the applicant is trying to solve and the proposed idea are ones that could scale either as a business or as a solution implemented in other communities. Often an idea may not appear that way on its face but we are experts at recognizing scalable ideas that others might overlook.

If you have an idea that is beyond the idea stage, then you may be eligible to apply for Capital One's Mobility Growth Accelerator.

What Do We Mean by Testing an Idea?

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When we say we help you test your idea, we don’t mean drawing up an exam. We test ideas through experimentation. Experiments to test an idea are ones that put something in front of potential users or customers and then gauge what actions those people do or don’t take (not what they SAY but what they DO). We run them to prove (or disprove) a hypothesis. They are specific. They are measurable. They help us figure out quickly (and inexpensively) whether our idea works (or not). And they prevent us from diving head first into an expensive, time-consuming and risky venture before we’ve validated that our ideas hold merit. —To learn more about our approach to experimentation, check out this article with a deeper dive.

How is the Program Structured?

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The program is virtual with the possibility for optional in-person events. Builders join both all-cohort and small group live sessions weekly. These sessions range from 1–2 hours.  The events are pre-scheduled at the beginning of the program so Builders can block off the times on their calendars.

Each week, Builders are assigned self-paced learning modules. During the first 45 days of the program, Builders are preparing to run their experiments and these modules are mandatory. During the second 45 days, Builders are actively experimenting and all learning modules are optional but intended to provide additional insights and resources.

How are the Pebble Funds Used?

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Each Builder, who goes through the program, has the opportunity to access up to $5,000 in Pebble Funds to cover the cost of their experiment. Builders are required to complete the prerequisite training and coaching sessions in the first 45 days of the program before funds may be accessed to begin their experiments.

The Builders + Backers team helps each participant create and refine a Builder’s Blueprint, which includes a proposed experiment, an action plan and timeline, and a budget. Once this Blueprint is approved, the Builder receives a controlled credit card which they may use to make pre-approved purchases, and they are responsible for submitting receipts for all expenses.

What Happens After the Program?

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Nobody leaves the program empty handed. Each Builder who completes the program leaves with a completely new perspective on how to take their ideas into the world and a new set of tools for experimenting that will help them refine their current or next idea. That outcome is a key part of the program that we believe will provide significant value to participating communities.

In terms of their experiments, some builders will learn that their ideas are not feasible in their current form. Following the program, they may choose to run further experiments, pivot or even begin thinking about an entirely new idea.

Everyone who completes the program is invited to join the Builders + Backers Alumni community, where they can continue to engage with the Builders + Backers team, their cohort and hundreds of Builders from around the country. Additionally, we invite all of our Builders to events and opportunities to engage live with one another and our Backer community.

What If I Still Have Questions?

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We’ll be hosting two informational sessions where you can hear from us live and have a chance to ask questions. RSVP at the links above.

Are there geographic restrictions?

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The program is open to anyone living in the United States who has a mobility-focsed idea.

That creative, compelling idea you’ve been wanting to turn into something real....Take the leap.