The International Road Federation (IRF) and its new Start-Up Label will collaborate with the FIA Smart Cities Global Start-Up Contest to identify and support start-ups with high impact potential to accelerate innovation in the mobility sector across the world.

Created in 2017 as part of the FIA Smart Cities initiative aiming to help cities define new models for more sustainable urban mobility, the FIA Smart Cities Global Start-Up Contest selects each year 18 finalists and four winners among promising mobility-focused start-ups from the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Powered by MassChallenge, it gives the finalists a platform to grow their network and visibility by connecting them to key mobility stakeholders in multinational corporates, government and public institutions.

For the Season 5 of the Contest, the IRF will give the finalists an exclusive opportunity to obtain its new Start-Up Label designed to support high potential mobility start-ups, help them showcase their credibility and further build trust with their clients, investors, and employees.

As a jury member, the IRF will contribute to select the Contest winners but also identify the participating start-up(s) that will be awarded with the IRF Start-Up Label. In doing so, the IRF will pay a special attention to start-ups focusing on innovations in the areas of road financing and economics; intelligent transportation systems (ITS); cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM); and road safety, road efficiency and sustainability.

Laureates of the IRF Start-up Label will benefit from IRF’s official endorsement for three consecutive years. During the first year, they will gain professional mentoring on a topic of their choice provided by IRF experts. Start-ups will also be invited to participate in IRF networking events, providing them exposure to relevant stakeholders. During the second and third year, the IRF will assist with bespoke actions aligned with start-ups' priorities. 

"We are excited about this initiative and delighted to work with the FIA to get closer to the start-up community. Innovation is a key aspect of the mobility sector, and we want to help start-ups with novel ideas to exploit their value proposition to the maximum, and achieve the best possible market fit," said IRF President Bill Halkias.

This Label represents an excellent complement to the FIA Smart Cities Global Start-Up Contest. It offers entrepreneurs support to further develop and accelerate the adoption of their innovative ideas for a safer, more sustainable and inclusive urban mobility,” said FIA President, Jean Todt.