3 October 2017

The innovative business proposal for a pure silicon anode for use in lithium-ion battery cells was chosen as the winning idea from a shortlist of ten finalists in the BMW Startup Challenge.

A high-profile jury made up of leading figures in the startup world selected the entry of LeydenJar Technologies BV as the winning idea in the final round of judging during a special BMW Group Startup Symposium in Amsterdam. “Our selection criteria were based on questions such as: level of pain the problem causes to users or the market, how well does the solution solve the problem for BMW and how different is the solution from current ones?”, explains Menno Kleingeld, Managing Director VDL Enabling Transport Solutions.

LeydenJar’s silicon battery anode is claimed to have a tenfold capacity over existing graphite anodes, which leads to an increase in energy density of an electric vehicle battery of up to 50 percent. The technology offers a substantial increase in the range of battery-powered vehicles and a significant reduction in the cost-per-kilometre. The technology is said to be scalable and can fit in the existing battery manufacturing process.

Photo: Christian Rood, Co-founder of LeydenJar Technologies, was congratulated by Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation, during the BMW Group Symposium (crédit: BMW Group)

Christian Rood, Co-founder of LeydenJar Technologies, was congratulated by Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation, during the BMW Group Symposium as he was presented with the grand first prize: 12-month use of a new, special-edition BMW X1, built in the Netherlands.

The two runners-up, both Dutch startups, were Wellsun, whose transparent, electricity-generating Lumiduct panels optimize the use of sunlight and improve the energy self-sufficiencyof buildings, and Skytree, whose idea to extract CO2 from closed spaces improves the quality of indoor air in cars, while reducing energy consumption and increasing the range of electric and other vehicles.

These top three finalists also received the offer of an all-expenses paid visit to BMW’s in-house Startup Garage in Munich, Germany, where they will have the chance to present their proposals in detail to BMW managers who are responsible for buying products and services on behalf of the company. “The quality and diversity of the innovative business ideas presented by the ten finalists in the BMW Startup Challenge was truly outstanding“, said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “Personal exchange with the passionate, ideas-driven start-up scene is very exciting for an innovation leader like the BMW Group, particularly in times of increasingly rapid technological change,” he added.

“It was very encouraging to see that the three companies selected from the finalists were all Dutch startups,” said Neil Fiorentinos, Managing Director of BMW Group Nederland, “Together they put forward innovations to store energy, to clean the air and to capture the sun, proving that the Dutch startup ecosystem is environmentally-focused and thriving.”

BMW challenged startups from across Europe, working in all fields related to mobility products or services, to submit their pioneering technology, product or service ideas for the competition that offers a chance to become part of a pool that buy billions of euros’ worth of products and services every year.

The finalists were selected from a total of 62 startup companies from 10 countries that originally entered the BMW Startup Challenge, which was held in conjunction with the BMW Group Startup Symposium and StartupFest Europe 2017, Europe’s leading startup festival.

The ten finalists which presented to the jury were:

  • Etho Inc (USA)
  • EZY Mobility (Netherlands)
  • Filigrade BV (Netherlands)
  • · LeydenJar Technologies BV
  • Motoshare (Netherlands)
  • Radygo (Netherlands)
  • Sense Glove (Netherlands)
  • Skytree (Netherlands)
  • Spatial (USA)
  • Wellsun (Netherlands)  


The startups represented a diverse range of innovative new technology fields that included electric vehicle batteries, artificial intelligence, energy generation, electric motorcycles, peer-to-peer personal transportation, IP security and anti-counterfeiting, wireless electric vehicle charging, augmented reality, radiation protection and carbon dioxide management and control.

Source: BMW Group


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