With a brand new home for the INFINITI LAB program in Central, Retail in Asia has been invited to mark the launch of the Global Accelerator Program and meet the founders of the eight startups involved.
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Based in Hong Kong, where the benchmark has been set high for luxury product and services, the INFINITI LAB Global Accelerator Program aims at connecting local and global startups with INFINITI innovation leaders and corporate partners, to foster an open innovation culture and accelerate digital transformation.
Since its launch in 2015, the program has helped drive cultural transformation and open innovation within INFINITI and the startup community.
Present that day were Dane Fisher, General Manager, Global Transformation & Brand at INFINITI Motor Company, along with international startups and local innovators such as Sally Osborne, Senior Manager, Technology Innovation at The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (owner of The Peninsula Hotels) to discuss how organizations can contribute to and benefit from the startup ecosystem.
Dane, Sally, and Lawrence Hui, Co-founder and CTO at Cove / Moveco, were gathered to present this year’s theme: Premium Connected Mobility.
The startups participating in this program fall within the three key verticals: alternative retail, digital ecosystem and connected mobility.
Alternative retail explores how to reinvent the physical retail experience and connect it with new technology and business models while the digital ecosystem focuses on building infrastructure to deliver a holistic customer journey and strong lead generation, and the connected mobility group will create new mobility solutions based on the digital ecosystem, as described by Dane.
He believes the Premium Connect Mobility program brought Infiniti closer to international and local entrepreneurs to cooperate, explore and design a seamless technology-enabled mobility experience for the premium consumer.
The speakers were then asked to share their views on how tech could deliver a premium connected consumer experience.
Both Sally, Lawrence and Dane agree that technology is paramount to increase efficiency and reduce friction across the customer journey. Dane adds that if integrated seamlessly, it can help focus more on perfecting the driving experience and human interactions as well as enabling companies to rightfully dedicate their resources to addressing consumers needs.
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Sally added on the importance of technology also in the hospitality industry where they are now integrating automation technology in the back of house experience, one that might tend to be overlooked but is essential in the smooth running of a hotel.
When asked why the premium connected mobility theme for this year’s program, Dane expressed his belief in the central role physical and digital experiences play in engaging and building lasting relationships with customers.
“The world of luxury is moving away from commodity, which means industry players need to innovate in order to create premium experiences that stay ahead of consumer expectations.” he said.
Eight advanced stage startups will participate in the 12-week INFINITI LAB Accelerator Program, in partnership with NEST.
The startups include: PassKit (Hong Kong), Yimian (Mainland China), Apostera(Germany), Autobahn (Estonia), Brisk Synergies (Canada), SmartTones Media (Canada), Drive Motors(USA) and OviDrive (Australia).
We are looking forward to receiving more insights form the mentors and participants.