Local social intelligence startup forms partnership with Ford Motor Company


Spatial, a Cincinnati-based startup that launched less than a year ago, has recently partnered with Ford to bring its navigation technology to Ford’s cars. The partnership has allowed Spatial to relocate to Detroit, and to focus on taking its social intelligence technology and embed it into car GPS and navigation systems.
 
Earlier this year, 12 startups were chosen to be part of Techstars Mobility class, including Spatial. Launched in 2015, the mentorship-driven accelerator program focuses on next-gen mobility solutions.
 
Each startup received $120,000 in funding, plus three months of intensive guidance on business development, customer acquisition and developing relationships within the auto industry, as well as support from top business leaders. The class started June 13, and ended on Sept. 8 with a demo day at the Detroit Opera House.
 
From that experience, Spatial formed a relationship with Ford — the company chose three startups that are working on tech products for autonomous and connected cars. All of the startups were from Techstars Mobility’s second class: Cargo, HAAS Alert and Spatial.
 
The startups have been working on projects in key areas that are of interest to Ford: consumer experience; information technology and data analytics; multimodal trip integration; flexible ownership and user experience; and autonomous and safety technologies.
 
“We have multiple projects running with Ford currently, and each of them aligns with our mission: helping people navigate like a local, anywhere on Earth,” said Lyden Foust, CEO of Spatial.
 
The details of the specific projects are underwraps, but Foust says that Spatial’s contract with Ford has put momentum in the company.
 
“We’re starting to get a lot of inbound requests from customers working with autonomous cars and AI assistants, all the way to real estate websites that want to help their users understand an area and sort through home options quickly,” he said.
 
Fortune named Spatial one of the top 10 automotive startups of 2016. Read that article here.
 

Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.  
Signup for Email Alerts