Techstars Mobility Launches with Office at Ford Field, New Partners

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has created something called the ShockLock, a device that mechanics can use to hold hoods and trunks open. Even in these modern times, Bhardwaj said mechanics are prone to using vice grips or even a broom stick to keep the hood open during a repair, which can be dangerous. (Last year alone, 11,000 injuries were reported by mechanics doing just that.) Ansik is also developing PitStop, a Bluetooth-powered dongle that plugs into your car, generates a diagnostic report, and then takes that report and shops it around to local mechanics to get bids on the repair work.

Bhardwaj is no stranger to the way mechanic businesses work—his father owns repair shops in Canada—and he describes them as being trust-based, where relationships rule. He spent time after college in Silicon Valley, but his background led him to want to take a swing at innovating in what he describes as a “very old-school industry.”

CDL Warrior: Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, CDL Warrior has created an app that helps truckers manage their time, communications, and compliance. They can also use it to find parking, automate logbooks, and improve fleet productivity and earnings.

Classics & Exotics: Have you ever wanted to rent a Lamborghini Gallardo and tool around the countryside? Who hasn’t, right? Now, owners of fancy cars can use the Classics & Exotics online platform to rent out their vehicles to “highly qualified individuals,” and consumers can use the platform to search the collection of cars for rent.

Owners and renters can connect on the site and ask each other questions, and CEO Peter Zawadzki said there are other opportunities outside of peer-to-peer transactions. Like a car show writ large, owners can showcase their vehicles for rent to the film industry or promotional outfits, and they can also choose to rent their cars but remain in the driver’s seat—Zawadzki imagines weddings where the car owners would chauffeur the bride and groom.

Classics & Exotics, based in Cape Cod, MA, screens the driving records of potential renters and runs criminal background checks to keep the riff raff out, and it also tracks safety through real-time analytics, rewarding safe drivers with discounts. Owners can specify how they want their babies to be treated—no regular fuel, for instance—and pricing, and the owners have the final say on who is approved to rent their vehicles.

Zawadzki said he and his co-founders are thrilled to be in Detroit—he admits to initially feeling wary due to all the bad press the city gets nationally—and said the company hopes to bring the joy of driving to Millennials. “We want to introduce a new generation to classic car ownership and appreciation,” he said.

Cosmos Browser: Using technologies already in your phone, Cosmos offers an Internet browser that works via SMS, no wifi or data package required. Though details on its website are scarce, the company is currently beta-testing its technology.

Elegus Technologies: Detroit-based Elegus Technologies, a University of Michigan spin-out, has designed a nanoscale fiber separator membrane for car batteries capable of withstanding demanding operating conditions and high currents, which makes driving safer and more efficient.

GearBrake: Headquartered in Kentucky, GearBrake has developed brake light modules for motorcycles that light up automatically as soon as the driver lets up on the throttle and slows down. (Unlike cars, motorcycle brakes can be engaged without activating the brake lights.) CEO Chris Bailey said his product can reduce the risk of rear-end collisions with motorcycles by 90 percent.

Motoroso: Motoroso’s website connects motorsports enthusiasts by combining content, community, and commerce to help them discover and buy related products, according to CEO Alex Littlewood, who cited Houzz as an example of how the … Next Page »

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