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Creating growth and marketing strategies for Israeli vehicle data startup


Otonomo, an Israeli company founded in 2015, provides a pioneering platform and marketplace for vehicle data. Their mission is to build the world's largest automotive and mobility ecosystem powered by data, technology, and connectivity; enabling automotive OEM's, service providers, and drivers to benefit from a safer, cleaner, and better mobility experience. The company approached MIT Sloan’s Israel Lab for help developing growth and marketing strategies.

“In the beginning, we asked a lot of questions to understand the business and shape the scope of the project,” says Carla Kinugawa, MIT Sloan Fellows MBA ’21, who teamed up on the project with Saeed Aldhaheri, MFin ’22, Roberto De Silva, MBA ’21, and Keitumetse Molamu, MSMS ’21. “The initial scope was a go-to-market strategy. As we learned and discussed more about the business, we redefined the project scope.”

Ultimately, the Israel Lab student team focused the project on the sales process and pipeline management. Students conducted more than 15 interviews with stakeholders, including prospects, partners, and current customers to gain a deeper understanding of Otonomo’s customer acquisition journey and to develop some common marketing personas. The team then recommended some changes Otonomo could make to its sales process to improve conversion rates.

“Otonomo had high standards, and I believe I learned the value of taking honest feedback and using it as a way to improve,” Molamu says. “I learned to be flexible in my approach toward problem solving and working with people.”

“Working with a diverse team of MIT students was an invaluable experience for us. We have already incorporated some of their insights into our strategy,” says Debbie Cohen-Abravanel, marketing director.