July 30, 2018 | US automotive giant Ford has announced it will hold its annual “Make It Driveable Challenge” hackathon in Tel Aviv this September as part of the DLD Tel Aviv conference, inviting leading Israeli mobile app developers and digital service providers to create new applications leveraging AppLink application programming interfaces on the SYNC 3 platform, for a cash and prizes.
The DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival is Israel’s international high-tech conference chaired by one of Israel’s leading entrepreneurs Yossi Vardi featuring hundreds of startups, venture capitalists, investors, corporations and industry leaders.
The hackathon will include prizes of € 30,000 (over $35,000), including cash and grants from the Fast Track Foundation, which will also provide the winning companies with funding for travel and other expenses. Winners will also be able to visit Ford offices in Detroit, Palo Alto, and London where they will have personal meetings with company executives, thanks to funding from the foundation. They will be invited to participate in the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2019.
Companies participating in the Ford challenge will have access to Ford’s development team and senior mentors, and will be able to present their ideas to target groups and customers during the event, the company said in a statement.
Ford is specifically looking to invite companies that have an existing iOS or Android app for a car, which can improve the driving experience by interfacing with SYNC 3, and companies with a long-term vision of digital services and solutions, that identify potential business opportunities, the company said.
“With access to more than seven million vehicles worldwide supported by AppLink, this is an exceptional opportunity to attract a whole new crowd of developers and build a new revenue channel with them by entering a Ford car,” said Scott Lyons, head of business and partner development of connected services at Ford. “The Israeli automotive technology sector, which has about 400 start-up companies, is one of the most vibrant in the world. We expect that at the Make it Driveable Challenge event there will be many outstanding and innovative companies with whom we can work. ”
Ford executives are set to meet entrepreneurs and companies in four regional tours taking place in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, and Nazareth from August 7 to 9. The best companies will be invited to attend the conference in September.