Latest Stories

Charging forward – how electrification of roads will make for greener EVs

In a recent article, we touched on why electric vehicles require such large, expensive batteries and the associated environmental concerns.

The DEC Network's BIG Pitch powered by Strategic Innovation

The Big Pitch, a high energy pitch contest, was held at Toyota Headquarters. Business owners from around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex arrived to share their business story, goals, and plans to compete for the grand prize that would boost them and their startup on to the next level of success. 

Range anxiety. Consumer confidence in EVs going the distance is key to phasing out gas and diesel

For well over a century, development of our transportation infrastructure has been dictated by vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICE) and fossil fuels.

Women of Innovation Speak Out During Dallas Start Up Week

Strategic Innovation had the privilege to sponsor “Women of Innovation,” a day-long summit during Dallas Startup Week dedicated to educating and promoting the success of women.

Your taxi is about to land

Don’t expect one parked in your driveway anytime soon, but the promise of flying cars is finally arriving.

Investing in Climate Tech Innovation

Learning about the effects of climate change and the role we all play to mitigate its impacts has become a global priority. The conversation around human impact on climate change has been ongoing for several decades. 

Automation, the Co-Worker of the Future

Automation is much more than just robots in a factory. Automation is changing our office life too. By definition, automation is simply a technology created to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services. 

Electric Vehicles Are Entering a Transformational Era of Growth

Electrification is leading the automotive industry to a new transformational era. It is an exciting time to see new products and development of new infrastructure to support transportation needs.

You Can Learn a Lot in Just Half a Mile

The new EZ10 electric autonomous vehicle, sponsored by TFS Strategic Innovation, shuttles up to six seated passengers to and from the parking garage at Children’s Medical Center Plano. 

Being Present Where Your Feet Are

April is Stress Awareness Month. These days stress awareness may be more important to understand and recognize than any other time in recent history. Our world is recovering from the turmoil and trauma the pandemic left, as well as the normal stress of family, work and life that seems to be ever present. 

Extend My Ride

Signing the lease on a new car is exciting! You drive away with the fresh new car smell, shiny new paint, and the perfect interior, which will never be as clean again as it is in that moment. While you drive that car, time moves on until one day you realize time has truly flown by and your lease will be up soon.

Rise, Lead and Guide

Taking risks and living outside of her comfort zone is how Anna Sampang began her career with Toyota 29 years ago. It was a strategy that has proven very successful for her. Fresh out of college, she chose to come to work for Toyota in the management trainee program that offered four, six-month rotations in different areas within the company. 

A Time For Inspiration and Gratitude

Julia Wada has, in her own words, “always been a learner.” As the Vice-President of Strategy, Innovation & Transformation at Toyota Financial Services (TFS), she is the inspiring leader who has made the kinds of contributions and achievements celebrated during Women’s History Month each March. 

College Students Gain Professional Experience Before Graduation

The partnership between Strategic Innovation and the University of Texas Dallas, gives undergraduate seniors the chance to gain real world experiences with help from a UTD advisor and a mentor from SI.

An Economical and Eco-Friendly Future of Mobility

Micromobility has rapidly proliferated in cities nationwide, proving to be a popular transportation option for many users. In response to the increasing demand for walking and bicycling facilities in cities and towns across the country, many jurisdictions are exploring micromobility as an alternative mode for short trips and active transportation.

When we are free to move, anything is possible

Whether getting you across town or across the room, Toyota has become the global leader in the quest to create universally available safe, reliable, and convenient means of mobility.

Benefits of a Vehicle Subscription Program

Many would say we are now living in a subscription-based economy. Everything we do revolves around signing up for a service, whether it is to enjoy music on Spotify, clear our minds for meditation with Calm, job search or business development on LinkedIn Premium, or make purchases for grocery, entertainment, or any product thinkable with Amazon. It is all at our fingertips within a few clicks, sometimes even as little as 1 click. It is no surprise that the automotive industry is exploring the subscription space, as many consumers are prioritizing flexibility and ease of service for their vehicle of choice.

The Impact of New Modes of Mobility on Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

Before answering “What are the impacts?”, you may be wondering “What is non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT)?”. NEMT can be defined as a transportation service for individuals traveling for medical services and are not in an emergency situation but might need more assistance than a regular ride service is able to provide. Service providers will be specially trained and may be equipped to transport riders in wheelchairs, stretchers, or with other special needs. NEMT rides can also be available as a Medicaid benefit that helps people with Medicaid insurance get to and from their health care appointments. Many states have different requirements and ways on how this benefit is delivered. An individual would need to be pre-approved and eligible to use the benefit. Another way the term NEMT is used in this space is a way to fill other transportation gaps that various demographic groups have. An area of growing focus is to provide rides for social determinants of health (SDOH) such as trips to the grocery store or to a senior center. In addition to Medicaid, Medicare Advantage Plans can provide NEMT benefits to their insured population and other funding comes through local/federal grant funds, or even by hospitals earmarking money for transportation.

Be curious, don’t let inhibitions  take over

Stacey Miller, senior manager at TFS Strategic Innovation is tasked with bringing innovative ideas to life through incubation and experimentation. Blake Towery, senior analyst in the Talent Development Group at Toyota got an opportunity to chat with Stacey and learn about her journey at Toyota and saw innovation happening at Toyota through her lens. In her conversation, Stacey also shared key insights on Innovation and Toyota Way. 

Strategic Innovation partnership with Launch Mobility

This week we met with Jason Zahorik, Group Manager of KINTO Share at Toyota Financial Services (TFS) and Paul Hirsch, Founder and CEO of Launch Mobility (LM), Inc.  Their partnership began when the TFS Strategic Innovation team was exploring mobility solutions and Paul was doing the same as an up and coming start upPaul, having worked for Toyota Motor Sales previously, understood the territory in which Jason was navigating which contributed to their successful collaboration.

Entrepreneurs, Connections and Partnerships 

Startup Champions Network (SCN) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide builders of entrepreneurial ecosystems the connections, resources, and professional development they need to cultivate thriving and inclusive communities. They believe that thriving and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems should exist in all communities in order to drive economic opportunity and independence for all. We at Strategic Innovation saw the opportunity for a strategic alignment with SCN and connected with Trey Bowles, Thomas Chapman and Kristin Leutz.

In August 2020, we launched a short-term campaign with SCN that allowed us to make connections with several ecosystem builders and startups. Toyota is planning future calls for partnerships and hoping to establish many successful relationships and endeavors.   Watch the video in this post to learn more about Tom Chapman’s experience working with Toyota Financial Services.