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Toyota and TechCrunch to host the first ‘Startup Battlefield’ in MENA 02/10/2018
Toyota has teamed up with TechCrunch, a prominent online publication delivering top-notch reporting on the business of the tech industry, to host the first Startup Battlefield in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in Beirut, Lebanon.

Set to take place on 3rd October 2018, Startup Battlefield is TechCrunch’s long-time premiere startup competition, which brings early-stage startups together under one roof to compete for a coveted prize and present their ideas in the presence of investors and the media community. The judges include TechCrunch editors, as well as top venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, and past winners include names such as Getaround, Vurb, Dropbox, Mint, Yammer, and many more.

In addition to supporting this first-of-its-kind event in MENA, Toyota will also lead a workshop focused on automated driving and mobility, as well as the company’s latest automated driving research findings. The workshop will be hosted by Mandali Khalesi, Toyota Global Head of Automated Driving Mobility and Innovation and General Manager of Toyota Advanced R&D and Engineering.

Mandali Khalesi Global Head of Automated Driving Mobility and Innovation and General Manager of Toyota Advanced R&D and Engineering, commented: “Toyota supports the growth of cutting-edge startups across the world in both developed and emerging markets, especially in the areas of automated driving and mobility. In order to achieve ‘mobility for all,’ I look forward to listening and learning from the leading entrepreneurs in the MENA region to help accelerate Toyota development of automated driving technologies.”

Yugo Miyamoto, Chief Representative of Middle East & North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, said: “We are pleased to partner with TechCrunch to bring the Startup Battlefield to MENA region, which provides us with an excellent platform to support the best local startups that are driving new innovations across industries, enabling us to grasp and understand the technology needs of the region in terms of future automated driving and mobility services. Toyota is committed to providing freedom of mobility to all and is developing automated technologies for safe, smooth, and convenient mobility for everyone. As always, I would like to thank our customers for always pushing us in pioneering mobility technologies and creating ‘ever-better’ cars.”

Ned Desmond, TechCrunch, COO, said: “We are delighted to have Toyota as a Workshop Partner at TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield MENA, which will feature top early-stage founders from around MENA, as well as top founders and investors. We are delighted that Mandali Khalesi will join us to lead the workshop on Toyota work around automated driving and mobility.”

Toyota collaboration with TechCrunch represents the 80-year-old company’s unrelenting commitment to constantly keeping a pulse on emerging industry trends. In the field of automated driving, Toyota has been bolstering its organization at an unprecedented speed, for example, by establishing the advanced research company, Toyota Research Institute (TRI) in the United States, in January 2016, and the advanced software development company, Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD), in Tokyo, Japan, in March 2018.

Toyota has also started a number of partnerships with other companies to accelerate its technical or business development in new forms of mobility, notably through its e-Palette alliance or its recent technology partnership with Uber.

More information about the event can be found here

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