The Lear Open Innovation Challenge

The State of Innovation these details in Detroit

Detroit is birthplace of the automobile and, leveraging this proud legacy and manufacturing expertise, its industries are poised to be ground zero for the development of tomorrow’s mobility solutions. The city provides opportunities for the development of new tech through its many incubators and working spaces. Makers, engineers, and business people are all part of the Detroit Revitalization.


Lear Innovation Initiatives in Detroit

To continue to foster Detroit’s innovation community, Lear ixessay.coms holding an Open Innovation Challenge, which will bring together students of 3 universities, multiple disciplines, and at different education levels. (Further description of the Challenge below.)

For a glimpse of the competition venue, the Lear Innovation Center, as well as why you should stay in Detroit, check out the following video and hear it straight from the LEAR CEO, in this recent feature by Autoline.

For more insight into Lear see the attached document.


The Lear Open Innovation Challenge

Make It Happen in Detroit

When you attend, you will join an interdisciplinary team of engineers and business entrepreneurs from 3 different universities (University of Michigan Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Dearborn, and Wayne State University) for a tournament-style competition. You’ll kick off with a two-day Innovation ‘Jumpstart’ Workshop on March 18th and 19th and pitch on April 1st with your solution pitch to Lear executives and venture capitalists (VCs) in Downtown Detroit at the Lear Innovation Center. The Innovatrium, an innovation consulting firm, will facilitate the tournament and provide your training.

The Jumpstart Workshop and two-week sprint gives you:

  • Training to use the Innovatrium’s accelerated innovation process
  • Participate in creating ideas for the future of mobility and vehicle connectivity
  • Practice sales and ‘pitching’ skills
  • Access to Innovation coaches as well as Lear technology development experts to support your team’s success
  • Learn how to develop a solution to advance technology and manufacturing for one of Detroit’s core organizations
  • Connections with faculty at Wayne State, UM-Dearborn and UM-Ann Arbor
  • Create a new solution to better an organization
  • An exclusive tour of Lear’s headquarters
  • Network with top VCs in Detroit
  • Best of all, be a part of what’s happening in Detroit alongside LEAR CEO Matt Simoncini!

Besides these amazing experiences, as a member of the top team, you earn cash and non-cash prizes from various sponsors. These sponsors will attend the Shark Tank Pitch and become mentors for the winning teams.

The winning team(s) will be offered an opportunity to continue to incubate LEAR innovation projects as Lear innovation fellows! The teams will be able to take their ideas into a rapid prototyping phase (Summer) and even beyond (Fall).

Applicants should fill out this form. Don’t wait! Apply by (3/9 at 8:00 pm). Those selected to participate will be notified on 3/13. 

Please send any questions to