This group is also responsible for the development of ZF’s IoT (Internet of Things) platform and develops use cases for the platform in collaboration with the various business units. Another key function and the core reason for the Silicon Valley presence of this department is to foster partnerships and investments in startups working on innovative technologies with regards to the Internet of Things, autonomous driving, connected services and many more.
My task within this group was to support the product management of the platform and tech scouting for startups working on technologies as desired by the different Business Units. Our office is located at the Plug and Play tech center. Plug and Play is one of the biggest accelerators that brings together startups, corporates, Venture capitalists, academia and lot of other players into what then becomes an innovation ecosystem. ZF is a corporate partner of plug and play and we work together to to scout for startups whose technologies are required by the company. There are many networking events that are meant to bring corporates and startups under one roof and as a trainee for me; this was a good opportunity to learn about the direction in which technology was heading. In addition to this, I was required to go visit startups around the bay area. I had the opportunity to pursue a class in Artificial Intelligence while I was there and this gave me a lot of insights into the field.
Besides the professional and work side of my project here, the buzzing bay had a lot to offer. The area has a unique blend between the hustle and bustle of San Francisco to the open spaces in the North Bay.