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2018 Mercedes-Benz Innovation Challenge (MBUSI)

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2018 MBUSI INNOVATION CHALLENGE

Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
Presented by Urban Engine


Welcome to the *FREE* Mercedes-Benz Innovation Challenge Competition!

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI). Innovation Challenge is an opportunity to engage Alabama’s thriving college and professional startup community to take on critical challenges faced in production flow management, big data efficiencies, and digital communications using creative business strategy, software development and technology solutions.

Our goal is to inspire creativity with vehicle manufacturing and all of its glory through collaboration, and energetic current- and next-generation startups with aspiring and professional problem-solvers to build innovative solutions with Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.

Urban Engine has partnered with Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. to develop technical challenges for students and professionals as competition participants. There will be prizes, online workshops, on-site facility field trip visit, and an opportunity to engage with Daimler leadership.

2018 Competition Prizes

Student Groups:

  • Prize award of up to $5,000
  • Access to University of Alabama EDGE accelerator/incubator labs


Startups / Professional Groups:

  • Share of up to $50,000 to further develop the concept into a viable technical solution
  • Direct access to a representative with the chance to become a supplier to MBUSI
  • A special invitation opportunity to pitch within Startup Autobahn's event in Stuttgart, Germany
  • Finalists may qualify to pitch exclusively to a wide audience of industry leaders such as Daimler, AG, Bosch groups.


IMPORTANT

Upon registration, you will receive the official MBUSI Application Package. This package file contains terms and conditions, rules for the program, and other form agreements to sign and complete with Urban Engine staff.

The Application Packages and Competition Guidelines will be sent out by or before the first day of May.


1. Individual acceptance of these terms are mandatory for all Entrants in order to qualify for this competition.


* Individuals must be registered & approved by May 15th. *


2. Please register as an INDIVIDUAL (Student, Parent or Professional) on Eventbrite. Teams will be determined after registration is complete. Communication from Urban Engine staff will occur by end of May 2018.


Please review the website terms and conditions for more information.


For any questions, please contact MBUSI@UrbanEngine.org at any time. We hope to see you there!


- Urban Engine Team

www.urbanengine.org



Date: April 11th to June 19th (2018)


Location: Online workshops and one (1) on-site visit to the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. vehicle manufacturing facility located in Vance, AL


Cost: Free to register! Free to participate! Free to win!


Challenges:

The “MBUSI Innovation Challenge” seeks to inspire creativity in the automotive sector through collaboration and energize current and next-generation startups and problem-solvers to build innovative solutions using creative business strategies, software development, and technology.

Apply your team’s skills to solve one or more of the listed challenges, as defined by Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. below:


  • Challenge #1: How to develop a system that combines all MBUSI services for employees?


  • Challenge #2: How to improve the lunch experience for MBUSI employees?


  • Challenge #3: Vehicle tracking throughout the plant and new vehicle parking area


  • Challenge #4: Implement augmented reality solutions in key processes


  • Challenge #5: Drone based inventory counting


  • Challenge #6: Big Data analytics for optimizing inventory levels per Part Number


  • Challenge #7: Universal application for all supplier representatives to use at MBUSI for issue capturing


  • Challenge #8: Automated kitting / sequencing cells using robotics


Your individual registration to this event is required to receive full challenge information. Your Application Package will include one-pager descriptions of each challenge seen above.

Each One-Pager Challenge in the Application Package will be supplied with a problem statement, an overview of the challenge scope, requirements pertaining to the structure of your solution, and any relevant or additional information to support your solution to the corresponding challenge.

For any questions, please contact MBUSI@UrbanEngine.org at any time. We hope to see you there!

- Urban Engine Team



TIMELINE OF EVENT & MILESTONE DATES

Kickoff Meet and Greet (optional attendance)

April 11th during Urban Engine's CoWorking Night 3 Year Anniversary Event

Online Workshops
There are online workshops to support the questions, concerns, technicalities, and any other relevant information for Individuals and Teams.

We will be in communications with all teams throughout the duration of this competition.

  • Exact dates will be announced via email.
  • Expect these Online Workshops to occur anytime between April 30th to May 11th, depending on the Challenge.
  • As a reminder, all qualifying submissions must be received and approved by May 15th.
  • By this point in time, all submissions will move forward to qualify for next rounds.


Judging and Awards

Judging critera will be determined after registrants have submitted their team applications.

  1. Next round Semi-Finalists will be contacted by end of business day on May 18, 2018.

  2. First Onsite Invitation: An invitation to visit onsite will be sent to all qualifying Semi-Finalists by May 18, 2018. All semi-finalists in attendance will connect in person with the competition's "Challenge Owners" (Mercedes-Benz Representative Subject Matter Experts) at the vehicle manufacturing facility.

  3. First Onsite Visit: Onsite visits will occur from May 29 to June 1, 2018. Final dates for this on-site visit will be determined at a later time.

  4. Second Onsite Invitation: Finalists will receive an invitation to attend the Finalist Pitch Round by end of business day on June 5, 2018.

  5. Second Onsite Visit: The final pitch round event will take place in the afternoon on June 19, 2018. All finalists will be invited to this event via Urban Engine communication channels.

* Travel expenses will be paid in full to each qualifying Semi-Finalist and Finalists. Please review the website terms and conditions for more information.


For any questions, please contact MBUSI@UrbanEngine.org at any time. We hope to see you there!

- Urban Engine Team



Judging Criteria:

+ Impact - How much impact (quality and quantity) can this solution have? Does this solution address the problem in a highly significant way?

+ Creativity - How creative is the team’s approach? Is the solution new? Does the solution represent something that isn’t being addressed by the market?

+ Complexity - How much progress did the team make during the competition? Did they start from scratch or build on an existing solution?

+ Product - How user friendly is the technology? How fully formed/mature is the idea?

+ Presentation - Did the team effectively communicate their solution? Did they tell the story of the project and why it is important in a compelling way? How well did they respond to questions from judges?



FAQ’s:

What is the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Innovation challenge?
MBUSI – located in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama – is the production location for the GLE, GLS and GLE Coupe SUVs around the world, as well as the C-Class sedan for North America. In 2017, the plant produced nearly 300,000 vehicles. MBUSI currently employs more than 3,700 team members and supports 7,000+ jobs on the approximately 1,000-acre site. In September of 2017, Mercedes-Benz announced another $1 billion investment that will equip the plant in building electric vehicles by the beginning of the next decade.

Is it the same as a hackathon?
The Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Innovation Challenge is an innovation competition for individuals, startups, students and professional teams to learn and create. Teams take on exciting challenges in advanced manufacturing technologies and attempt to solve those challenges through innovation and creativity.


Who can participate?
College students, adults and startup companies interested in taking on challenges are welcome! There are two categories of teams: Student and Startup. All teams consisting of one or more working professional will be considered for the startup category. You don’t have to be on a team to participate! If you have any idea or innovation that can solve one of the challenges, submit it to the competition!


Where will it take place?
The Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Innovation Challenge is primarily a remote competition. Most event milestones will take place online. Here is a list of main event milestones to look out for throughout the event:

There will be 3 “live” events that take place throughout the program:

  1. A kick-off webinar for registered participants to ask questions of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Innovation Leads in the weeks of April 30th - May 11th of 2018.

  2. An onsite tour of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. in Vance, AL for semi-finalists between May 29 and June 1st, 2018.

  3. A finale event for finalists for the community, all participants and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. leadership at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc will take place on June 19th, 2018.


Questions for subject matter experts, technical mentors and event representatives can be asked on the event communication channel on the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Innovation Challenge Slack.

Challenge submissions will be submitted via standardized form. After registration on Eventbrite, you will receive access to these standardized forms from the competition management team.


Why are you hosting this event?
Innovation is a combination of a solid background of knowledge, a creative idea, and the ability to work with data. Increasingly, advanced manufacturing problems are being solved through the application and manipulation of technology and innovation. The Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Innovation Challenge is a great opportunity to introduce and engage the innovation community and students to the future of advanced manufacturing.


Does it cost money?
No.


What if I don’t know anything about advanced manufacturing, Daimler or Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Can I still participate?
Absolutely! Learning is a big component of the Competition. We will provide subject matter experts throughout the duration of the competition, where you will have the opportunity to communicate via pre-scheduled online workshops and potentially meet the experts in person. If you are interested in learning more, or applying what you are already capable of in ways that could potentially benefit Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc., then you are encouraged to register and participate!


Who will be there?
Students, professionals, data scientists, software developers and more. Executive Leadership from Daimler will be present during the finale event to judge and observe the event. Urban Engine staff and leadership communities will also be present during the event as well as potential audience members.


I still have a question. Who can I contact?
Our support team is ready to answer your questions! Contact MBUSI@urbanengine.org at any time.

Will the media be there?
We are providing some windows for media to cover the event. Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. and Urban Engine staff will be publicizing the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Innovation Challenge through social media channels. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. staff and Urban Engine staff will be taking photos and video to document the event. Participants will be required to sign a release form.


What is Urban Engine?
Urban Engine is a nonprofit organization that propels the growth of North Alabama’s economy and accelerates STEAM innovation by connecting aspiring entrepreneurs and established business leadership to educational resources, talent, and community. Urban Engine facilitates several innovation education programs including CoWorking Night, 32/10, community hackathons and OpenHuntsville.com.


What is Mercedes-Benz U.S. International?

MBUSI – located in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama – is the production location for the GLE, GLS and GLE Coupe SUVs around the world, as well as the C-Class sedan for North America. In 2017, the plant produced nearly 300,000 vehicles. MBUSI currently employs more than 3,700 team members and supports 7,000+ jobs on the approximately 1,000-acre site. In September 2017, Mercedes-Benz announced another $1 billion investment that will equip the plant in building electric vehicles by the beginning of the next decade.



What can I win?

Competition prizes are outlined below in summary:

A) Student Groups:

  • Prize award of up to $5,000
  • Access to University of Alabama EDGE accelerator/incubator labs


B) Startups / Professional Groups:

  • Share of up to $50,000 to further develop the concept into a viable technical solution
  • Direct access to a representative with the chance to become a supplier to MBUSI
  • A special invitation opportunity to pitch within Startup Autobahn's event in Stuttgart, Germany
  • Finalists may qualify to pitch exclusively to a wide audience of industry leaders such as Daimler, AG, Bosch groups.


How many people should be on my team?

There are no limits to the size of teams, but we find that teams of 3-6 people work better for competitions.


I still have a question. Who can I contact?

Please email us directly! Contact MBUSI@urbanengine.org at any time. We hope to hear from you!!




IMPORTANT

Upon registration, you will receive the official MBUSI Application Package. This package file contains terms and conditions, rules for the program, and other form agreements to sign and complete with Urban Engine staff.

The Application Packages and Competition Guidelines will be sent out by or before the first day of May.


1. Individual acceptance of these terms are mandatory for all Entrants in order to qualify for this competition.


* Individuals must be registered & approved by May 15th. *


2. Please register as an INDIVIDUAL (Student, Parent or Professional) on Eventbrite. Teams will be determined after registration is complete. Communication from Urban Engine staff will occur by May 18, 2018.


Please review the website terms and conditions for more information.


For any questions, please contact MBUSI@UrbanEngine.org at any time. We hope to see you there!


- Urban Engine Team

www.urbanengine.org

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