Press - June 7, 2022

UP.Partners Announces the Launch of UP.Labs, a First-Of-Its-Kind Venture Lab; Announces Porsche as its First Corporate Partner

New Venture Lab will support the creation of startups that solve pressing transportation technology & innovation challenges faced by corporations and society at large

BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today at the UP.Summit, an annual gathering of global mobility leaders, investment firm UP.Partners announced the launch of UP.Labs, along with Porsche as its inaugural corporate partner.

Led by Founder & CEO John Kuolt and President Katelyn Foley, UP.Labs is a first-of-its-kind venture lab working with global corporate partners to identify the most pressing challenges they, and broader society, face. Inspired by these complex problems, they launch startups built by proven entrepreneurs, product leaders and technologists to develop transformative solutions. A unique aspect to the model is that once these companies have scaled, the corporate partners have an option to acquire them, reaping strategic value while enriching their culture and core business.   This strategy further enhances UP.Partners’ mission of Transforming the Moving World by investing and building companies that move people and goods cleaner, faster, safer, and at lower cost – on the ground, in the air, on the sea, and in space.

Kuolt and Foley have significant experience launching and scaling startups for large corporations as leaders of the venture and incubation arm of The Boston Consulting Group, BCG Digital Ventures. Kuolt was a Managing Director and Partner and member of the Investment Committee, and Foley was a Managing Director and Partner who joined at the firm’s inception and became a rising star. The firm grew to over 1,000 employees and launched 200 businesses with the world’s most influential corporations over her 8-year tenure.

UP.Labs is being launched following UP.Partners’ inaugural $230M venture capital fund. The venture fund will invest in the startups that UP.Labs creates.

All corporations eventually have to face the reality of the “Innovator’s Dilemma.” Innovation tools such as incubators, venture builders and accelerators are a step in the right direction but are challenged to return meaningful results. External venturing tools such as corporate venture capital and M&A both have merit, but venture capital may not align with strategic goals while M&A can be costly with messy integrations. “UP.Labs combines the best of these worlds into a model with a battle-tested methodology, governance program, and repeatable process to launch companies, as well as a world class venture fund in place with UP.Partners to lead financing rounds,” said John Kuolt, Founder & CEO of UP.Labs.

“We are thrilled to have Porsche as our inaugural partner, and we will kick off our second corporate partner this summer. Our first two startups will be launched by the end of 2022. Development has already begun,” said Katelyn Foley, President of UP.Labs.

“We want to strengthen our existing, broad-based startup ecosystem with an external growth engine,” said Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT. “Through UP.Labs, Porsche secures access to international talents and their know-how. The aim is to further enhance Porsche’s position in the current transformation phase of the automotive industry in the long term. Above all, we strive for new sources of innovation. UP.Labs’ approach combines Porsche’s capabilities with external market incentives to build exciting business models for the benefit of the company.”

“I could not be more thrilled to be launching UP.Labs with my dear friends Ben Marcus, Cyrus Sigari and Adam Grosser, UP.Partners’ managing partners. They have cultivated the UP.Community to be the most exclusive and powerful group of transportation and mobility leaders in the world and I am honored to be a part of it” said Kuolt. “Together, we are building a community of entrepreneurs, investors, strategic corporations, academicians, policymakers and storytellers who together are delivering technologies that are Transforming The Moving World.”

“The mobility world is experiencing rapid transformation, and the big brands we trust most need help to innovate quickly and efficiently to meet emerging consumer demands,” said Ben Marcus, UP.Partners Co-Founder & Managing Partner. “This is where UP.Labs enters as a natural next step in the UP.Partners ecosystem. UP.Labs pairs top entrepreneurial talent with household names to ensure together we can create a path to a better world.”

About UP.Labs
UP.Labs is a first of its kind Venture Lab using a new venture model to solve core problems for the world’s most important corporations in the mobility world. By bringing together world-class business leaders, investors and corporate partners, Up.Labs unlocks innovation for corporations who have the scale and resources but cannot do it on their own. Recognizing that transportation is the underlying fabric of society, UP.Labs utilizes these strategic partnerships to rapidly ideate, build and scale disruptive startups transforming the way we move people and goods to be cleaner, faster, and safer. To learn more visit https://up.labs/

About UP.Partners
Transportation is the underlying fabric of society. UP.Partners invests in the pioneering entrepreneurs who are creating] technologies that help move people and goods cleaner, faster, safer, and at lower-cost – on the ground, in the air, on the sea, and in space. UP.Partners works with some of the world’s most innovative investors and companies, including Alaska Airlines, ARK Invest and Woven Capital, the investment arm of Toyota subsidiary Woven Planet Group. UP.Summit convenes the mobility community’s brightest minds each year to help humanity go UP. Together, the UP community is transforming the moving world. For more information, visit UP.Partners or follow on Twitter @UpPartnersVC or LinkedIn.

About UP.Summit
UP.Summit is an annual, invitation-only gathering of the world’s most innovative minds rethinking the future of transportation. Leaders of the most impactful companies moving people and goods gather at the summit each year with the goal of moving people and goods cleaner, faster, safer, and at lower-cost – on the ground, in the air, on the sea, and in space. UP.Summit was founded in 2017 and is jointly organized by UP.Partners, Tom and Steuart Walton, and Ross Perot Jr.

About Porsche
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, with headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, is one of the most profitable car makers in the world. In 2020, Porsche delivered more than 270,000 vehicles of the 911, 718 Boxster, 718 Cayman, Cayenne, Macan, Panamera and Taycan models to customers worldwide. Thereby, the sports car manufacturer’s operating profit amounted to 4.2 billion euros, up three per cent. Porsche operates plants in Stuttgart and Leipzig as well as a development centre in Weissach. The sports car manufacturer employs 36,000 people. Porsche is committed to innovation, many of the technologies have their origins in motorsport.

Katie Duckhorn
[email protected]