Startup competitions seeking transportation technology companies

Steven Loeb · April 11, 2018 · Short URL:

They include MobilityX Pitch Competition, Porsche NEXT OI Competition and The Mobility Competition

If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that are focused on transportation technology companies:


Description: "We believe entrepreneurs have the power to change the world. Help us discover the most promising, highly scalable startups that are poised to find solutions for the challenges transportation services face."


  • 1st prize (winner): $10,000 USD
  • 2nd prize: $5,000 USD
  • 3rd prize: $2,500 USD

Previous winners: Monarch


Description: "The inaugural launch of AutoMobili-D in 2017 featured more than 180 brands, ranging from automakers, to suppliers, to tech startups as well as universities and government organizations. No other event in North America provides an international platform for this vast array of companies, organizations and thought leaders under one roof."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: CARMERA, SEEVA, Wheeli



Description: "Technologies transforming and optimizing the transportation industry on a consumer and enterprise level. These innovations create efficiency in the way we move from point A to point B through (but are not limited to) the connected car, data routing applications, on-demand or ridesharing services, autonomous vehicles, and other new disruptive means."

Prize: The winning prizes include two (2) Interactive badges for the 2019 SXSW Interactive event, various SXSW Accelerator sponsor gifts and, most importantly, the opportunity to receive exposure to the SXSW audience looking out for the latest in cutting-edge technology. Additional prizes will be announced as the event date approaches.

Previous winners: GoKid



Description: "Emerging technologies but also regulatory, economical and social trends influence urban transportation. Mercedes-Benz Vans wants to foster new partnerships with startups all around the world to co-develop the future of last mile transportation and logistics."

Prize: Mercedes-Benz will support startups as a fair partner, granting up to €500,000 to co-develop their prototype with shared IP rights

Previous winners: Not specified


 TRB: The Six Minute Pitch @ Washington Convention Center, Salon B | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

Description: "The Six Minute Pitch: A Transportation Startup Challenge is a special Young Member Council (YMC)session at the Transportation Research Board (TRB)2018 Annual Meeting during which selected presenters pitch their cutting-edge, research-based concept for a transportation product- or service-based business to a panel of distinguished transportation industry investors and entrepreneurs in just six minutes. It’s basically the transportation industry’s national version of Shark TankStartup Battlefield, or Dragons’ Den!"

Prize: While no actual investment is made at the Pitch, all participants in the Six Minute Pitch receive valuable exposure and feedback for their ideas, and the winning submission is also typically covered in diverse media outlets.

Previous winners: Not specified




Description: "As the new auto industry's trade show, we feature companies that are redefining mobility, converging business sectors, and driving change in transportation. With so many startups coming onto the scene each year, it's important for us to highlight the most unique ones that are poised for success."

Prize: The Grand Prize and Top Three winners will receive a Microsoft BizSpark Plus prize of $120,000 in Azure credits over two years, consultancy from Elektrobit, Microsoft and Porsche Consulting, NVIDIA DRIVE™ PX 2 AI car computing platform, and EB robinos open software framework to speed the development of their autonomous driving functionalities.

The Top Ten Grand Prize winner will also receive a cash award, a live, on-stage advisor session with influencers in the technology and automotive industries on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 28.  and an opportunity to attend the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) held on Sir Richard Branson’s private estate, Necker Island.

All finalists for this year’s competition will receive:

  • Access to AutoMobility LA 2017
  • Exhibit booth space inside the Technology Pavilion
  • Recognition in front of 25,000 media professionals, influential thought-leaders, automakers, tech titans, designers, developers, investors, dealers, government officials, analysts, fellow startups and more
  • Access to all AutoMobility LA networking events
  • Access to an exclusive VIP reception with the AutoMobility LA executive team, Advisory Board members, top investors and industry executives
  • Tickets to the 2018 NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference on AI and self-driving cars.

Previous winners: Cerebri AI, EV Safe Charge, GhostWave, GoKid, Cerebri AI EV Safe Charge GhostWave GoKid Innoviz Technologies, Mighty AI, Neteera Technologies, Ridecell, Meet the 2017 Top Ten Automotive Startups Cerebri AI EV Safe Charge GhostWave GoKid Innoviz Technologies Mighty AI Neteera Technologies Ridecell, WayRay


 LA CoMotion

Description: "Presented during LA CoMotion, the L.A. New Mobility Challenge is a major startup competition featuring international startups on the leading edge of innovation in the diverse field of mobility. The Challenge brings together top startups worldwide developing innovative zero emissions transportation technologies, smart infrastructures, and mobility solutions that will define the next era of sustainable urban transportation. The fifteen finalists were narrowed down from over 100 applicants from 15 countries."

Prize: $15,000 and the opportunity to collaborate with other innovators and experts in Los Angeles

Previous winners: what3words, AutoDrive Solutions, HAAS Alert



Description: "Driving the Future of Mobility is a challenge for the European startups and innovators shaping the transportation industry. Apply with your existing solution to one or more of our challenges and benefit from Magna's mentorship and equity-free prize money as well as the potential to continue work with Magna."


  • Each winning team has the opportunity to attend a mentoring event with Magna Research & Development executives.
  • Work with Magna executives to see if there is a fit for further project development and opportunities in the automotive industry.
  • The winning team in each category walks away with equity-free prize money in the amount of €7k!

Previous winners: TerraLoupe, HOMYHUB, Drover, Powerplace



Description: "The Porsche NEXT OI Competition offers you the unique opportunity to work with simulated Porsche sportscar APIs. You’ll get to play around with over a 140 different data sources and functions, access SDKs, tools and resources around the clock and, most importantly, work interactively with in-browser Porsche car emulators to test your apps and services. Put simply, this is your chance to work with the latest racing and electric car APIs for the world’s leading sportscar manufacturer."


  • 1st Prize
  • Visit to Weissach R&D Center (including a private tour of the design studio)
  • Work on a pilot project with Porsche and get access to Europe’s largest car simulator
  • 2nd Prize
  • Visit Weissach R&D Center (including a private tour of the design studio)
  • Work on a pilot project with Porsche
  • 3rd Prize
  • Take part in a race track session at Weissach
  • Work on a pilot project with Porsche

Previous winners: None yet


 TiECon Midwest 2016

Description: The Mobility Competition is aimed at recognizing the top six second stage startups working on disruptive technologies in broad based industries such as Mobility, Autonomous Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Connectivity, IoT, Automotive, Cyber Security, Smart Cities, and Big Data/Machine Learning. The six finalists will compete before an audience of automotive executives, venture capitalists, angel investors and Silicon Valley technologists."

Prize: The winner will be eligible to join the Kyyba Xcelerator with a $50,000 investment, support services, and mentorship from Kyyba Xcelerator’s extensive global network. 

Previous winners:, Voyhoy

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