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How a 123-Year Old Company Innovates: A Q&A with Goodyear CEO Rich Kramer

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is a 123-year old company that continues to evolve its business, leveraging new advancements in technology and adapting to the changing behaviors and expectations of its customers. In its commitment to drive meaningful growth for the company, Goodyear launched the corporate venture capital arm, Goodyear Ventures, and has recently invested in AndGo, a new digital vehicle readiness platform to support the future of shared mobility, as well as SightLine, an intelligent tire technology that offers predictive analysis of fleets to reduce cost and congestion. To understand how Goodyear is investing in the future of mobility, we sat down with Rich Kramer, CEO of Goodyear, to discuss our partnership and how Mach49 is helping Goodyear build a pipeline of new growth opportunities.  

1. What drives Goodyear’s innovation? 

We were a startup 120 years ago, and we're living off that startup mentality. We’re at another inflection point of mobility. At Goodyear, our commitment and our purpose is to be relevant, to win at this next inflection point of mobility, and to be the shoulder that people stand on another 123 years from now. 

2. What makes Mach49 a good partner for Goodyear? 

Mach49 has been a godsend. They’ve helped us understand an area that we really don't have a lot of expertise in. We bring a lot of knowledge about our business, the tire industry, and even mobility, but Mach49 brings a lot of knowledge about the art and science of corporate venture building and investing. They understand how to take advantage of the advancements being made in technology, how to frame those, how to decide what makes sense for Goodyear, and how to help a large corporation make decisions quickly, which only creditalizes ourselves in front of our board and investment committee. They've done an outstanding job -- I'd recommend them to anyone.

3. What is like working with Mach49? 

The process with Mach49 is a robust one. First, they help us vet the opportunities that are out there, and through their knowledge and candid involvement in the ecosystem in Silicon Valley, they're able to help us understand what we should pursue or shouldn't. That we couldn't do on our own. They're very good at steering us away from things as well as steering us toward things. I think that balance is really what all of us who are new to corporate venturing really need.

4. What types of partnerships are you looking for, and how can Mach49 help?

We're looking for partnerships that have technologies that can do two things. One, we’re looking for technologies that support the smart or intelligent tire trajectory we're on and allow us to drive those technologies in ways that we couldn't imagine on our own. There's so much knowledge and so much aspiration at Mach49 to help us do that because they align with our mission to fuel the future of mobility. The second thing we're looking for is partnerships that can help us imagine or redefine new business models, new ways to market, or new services that are needed in today’s era of new mobility. With corporate venturing, we see an opportunity to find new businesses and new business segments, some of which may have not been possible to imagine before. 

Contact us at growth@mach49.com to learn more about Mach49’s work with Goodyear and the many corporate venturing clients we support.

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