Visit Hyundai in your country/region
The white ZER01NE logo against a black background.

ZER01NE: Where game-changing technology gets its start

5 minute read

What's more exciting or rewarding than helping foster and unleash beneficial creative energy and newfound opportunity? How about doing it through a global open innovation platform that nurtures interdisciplinary talent to find the answers that help navigate a rapidly changing world? Welcome to ZER01NE – the open innovation platform that creates a rich ecosystem for creative talent, ranging from art and architecture to designers, engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs.

Asking the right questions to be answered

ZER01NE is a creative talent platform that emphasizes the power of creativity as the driving force behind human-centered innovation. Focused on three pillars - ART, TECH, and BIZ - ZER01NE invests not only in promising startups but also in creators who are at the cross-section of art and technology. Creators ask questions about the society we live in, which are addressed by the startup's bold actions to manifest solutions within the Hyundai Motor Group. By supporting creative projects and investing in startup collaborations, ZER01NE continues to nurture the growth of the creative ecosystem and innovative solutions that can benefit all of humanity.

The silhouette of a woman facing a screen full of blue and white patterns.

An open call for open-minded talents

One mission of ZER01NE is to ignite people's imagination and give them the means to realize their visions. To this end, ZER01NE launches annual open calls recruiting individual creators and startups to join its program. First, the creator open call allows applicants to propose projects that are at the crossroads of art and technology and align closely with the themes of ZER01NE. Once selected, these creators receive financial support and other assistance to bring their ideas to life. During this process, they become a part of a close-knit community of other inspiring creators, which can lead to more innovative projects they never thought of, including collaborating with Hyundai engineers. Second, the open call for startups allows applicants to submit ideas pertaining directly to the projects derived from the business units of Hyundai Motor Company and KIA. Once matched with the corresponding units, the startups receive collaborative Proof of Concept (PoC) and investment opportunities. The various possibilities within these open calls allow a wide variety of leading startups to build effective partnerships within the Hyundai Motor Group.

ZER01NE participants show visitors what they have been working on.
A close-up of a vehicle parked in front of a screen, on which a fantastic landscape is shown.
Visitors wearing headphones watch a presentation showing a vehicle in front of an animated screen.

Inciting innovation with the ZER01NE Creator Project & Program

One of ZER01NE's main aims is to build a creative ecosystem where innovation and imagination can be unleashed and financially rewarded. Participants are encouraged to take bold steps, exchange ideas, and collectively drive change for a better tomorrow. As a “playground” for new ideas and approaches, ZER01NE encourages talent to think and create in all directions and engage in fun and meaningful activities.

A chart showing the four different sectors of ZER01NE Ventures.

The Fantastic Four of ZER01NE Ventures

Hyundai has a rich history of open innovation with startups to explore game-changing technology and business opportunities. Since 2000, Hyundai has worked with innovators worldwide to make a lasting positive impact. This dedication to connecting disruptive technology with business opportunity is manifested in ZER01NE Ventures, which consists of four sectors: ZER01NE ACCELERATOR, ZER01NE FUND, ZER01NE COMPANY BUILDER, and Hyundai CRADLE.

Fast-tracking ideas with ZER01NE ACCELERATOR

Discovering an innovative startup is crucial to any societal or business goal. That's where ZER01NE ACCELERATOR comes into play. As a "matchmaker," it recruits startups in various technology fields to move conceptual ideas to feasible solutions with market value within the Hyundai Motor Group. Selected startups are provided with collaboration opportunities with business units within Hyundai, and some are further selected to build strategic partnerships through equity investment. Since ZER01NE ACCELERATOR was introduced in 2018, a network of more than 180 startup cohorts and 150 business units from 11 affiliates of the Group have worked together on 130 collaborative projects.

ZER01NE participants introduce their ideas to guests.

ZER01NE FUND as a financial startup booster

Identifying and fostering promising startups in their early stages helps ensure that a genuinely beneficial idea fulfills its potential. ZER01NE FUND is in place to do just that. As an investment fund, its primary purpose is to build partnerships in new business areas of Hyundai Motor Group and drive innovation in key growth sectors. A unique feature of ZER01NE FUND is its wide range of global channels to facilitate the development, like ZER01NE ACCELERATOR and Hyundai CRADLE. Various tools based on Hyundai Motor Group's resources are also available to support the business development. Through investments, a financially stable foundation is laid on which the Hyundai Motor Group can collaborate on innovative business models and technology for mutual growth and a flourishing startup ecosystem.

Participants of ZER01NE Ventures Demo Day listen to a presentation.

Creating business value with ZER01NE COMPANY BUILDER

Sometimes, you don't have to go far to find great ideas, which is the primary thought behind ZER01NE COMPANY BUILDER. As an “Intrapreneurship" program, the ZER01NE COMPANY BUILDER selects original, creative ideas from Hyundai Motor Group employees and fosters in-house ventures until they can be brought to life and developed into a sustainable business model. All colleagues from Hyundai Motor Group with a new business idea are welcome to apply for ZER01NE COMPANY BUILDER.

A ZER01NE participant at his stand is explaining something to others.

The program covers a wide array of business areas, including mobility, robotics, AI/software services, and other sections within the Group. As with every idea, the motto is: “Empowering our employee’s ideas to fuel collaborative business ventures.” Under this motto, selected ideas receive comprehensive support, including financial backing to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or implement a Proof of Concept (PoC) with business units or R&D at the Hyundai Motor Group during a year of incubation. By encouraging and rewarding new ideas from within, ZER01NE Company Builder has helped 36 in-house ventures create their own business, fostering the Group’s innovative and entrepreneurial reach.

A group shot of ZER01NE participants.
A map showing all the global Hyundai CRADLE locations.

Hyundai CRADLE creates global innovation hubs

ZER01NE is dedicated to driving innovation worldwide and advancing Hyundai's promise of progress for humanity. Hyundai CRADLE was established to provide startups with the necessary global exposure and exchange opportunities. As a set of international open innovation hubs, Hyundai CRADLE has offices in Silicon Valley (USA), Tel Aviv (Israel), Berlin (Germany), Beijing (China), and Singapore. Together, they help identify and nurture promising startups while securing strategic partnerships for the future of sustainable mobility.

A day like no other – ZER01NE DAY

The thrill of ground-breaking innovative ideas is best when shared. That's why ZER01NE presents the results of its year-long artistic, technological, and business endeavors at an exhibition-turned-festival called ZER01NE Day every October. Each year, a specific theme is selected, along with various programs, including ZER01NE creator project exhibitions, talks, and performance events. Since its debut in 2018, the ZER01NE Day Festival has attracted over 52,000 visitors. The festival is dedicated to showcasing new ideas and inspiring the next generation of inventors, visionaries, entrepreneurs, and other creative talents.

The interior of a futuristic building with shimmering walls.

Sharing success – securing the future

We know the path to new and sustainable mobility is a global effort. This is what makes ZER01NE such an amazing concept. Its open nature, diverse fields, and celebration of creative freedom, curiosity, and excellence benefit us all. Because even a zero can have countless opportunities.

Follow to stay up to date on the latest news from ZER01NE, and of course, don't forget @hyundai. There's always a lot going on!


  • URL copied to clipboard