Continental business incubator produces first spinout

AUBURN HILLS — Continental Automotive, the Auburn Hills-based U.S. subsidiary of the German auto supplier Contnental AG, announced that its Co-pace business incubator has produced its first spinout company, a door lock manufacturer called PassiveBolt.

The auto supplier said the new company, to be based in Ann Arbor, will bring automotive grade touch technology to residential door locks, enabling touch-sensitive keyless entry to the home.

Promoting both intrapreneurship across Continental as well as entrepreneurship, Co-pace is designed to tap into future business models and creative concepts outside the confines of traditional corporate structures.

“Continental’s concept for Co-pace was simple — create something that can accelerate the company’s innovation and agility,” said Juergen Bilo, managing director of Co-pace GmbH. “We empower our employees and external entrepreneurs to explore their ideas, offering mentorship and, in some cases, financial support. This approach enables Continental to stimulate and access the creativity and execution speed needed to stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing mobility and technology marketplace.”

What started as a concept inside Continental’s first Co-pace cohort has officially blossomed into its own independent entity, PassiveBolt, with financial backing from Continental and other external investors. The company produces a white-labeled module that converts existing door locks into smart, touch-enabled locks, utilizing smartphones as a key.

While working on Continental’s keyless entry team, Kabir Maiga, Co-pace intrapreneur and CEO of PassiveBolt, saw an opportunity to adapt the technology from an automotive application to a smart home innovation. Thanks to the Co-pace incubator, Maiga was able to take PassiveBolt from concept to fruition and is still able to rely on Continental for support as he navigates the next phase of the entrepreneurial road. For example, Continental stands ready to provide not only guidance, but also manufacturing services to the new company as it develops.

“Co-pace gave me the freedom, resources and guidance to modify a technology that revolutionized how we access our vehicles, for accessing and safeguarding our homes,” Maiga said. “It’s inspiring to have worked for an employer that not only recognizes the shifting business ecosystem ahead and prepares accordingly, but also values and supports employee ideas and concepts for new ventures.”

To learn more about PassiveBolt, visit More about Continental at

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