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GM Defense Graduates from Global Innovation’s Start-Up Incubation Process

GM Defense vehicle fleets

“GM Defense moves under Mark Reuss’ organization after graduating from Global Innovation’s Start-Up Incubation Process.”

GM Defense was re-established in 2017 to be the leading organization within GM to grow a defense and government-facing business. It was tasked with creating a robust pipeline of opportunities to support defense and government requirements. In less than five years, the business built an aggressive growth plan that disrupted the traditional defense industry and closed vital contracts that cemented GM’s presence in the market. 

GMD’s move is part of a planned business maturation process that stems from the Global Innovation’s team mission: To incubate new, high-growth businesses for GM, helping the company enter new markets, attract new customers, and grow new revenue streams. 

Each year, Global Innovation evaluates hundreds of ideas, but only incubates about the top 10 percent.  That process is led by Global Innovation’s Accelerator Team, which filters each idea to assess the potential opportunity based on Total Available Market (Tam) and GM’s right to win, alongside other factors like potential timeline and cost to commercialize. 

Another important consideration is whether existing GM core competencies deliver a competitive advantage, such as:

  • Access to commercialized technologies
  • Proprietary data insights
  • Innovative products and services
  • Manufacturing leadership
  • Relationships with blue chip companies

If an idea advances through all the filters, the Global Innovation team begins to incubate the business in a test and learn environment to ensure a novel solution. As stages are met, the business moves to launching and scaling its operations with the goal of “graduating”. GM Innovation currently has around 20 startups in the pipeline, including five that have successfully gone to market.

“At GM, innovation is all around us,” explained Alan Wexler, senior vice president of Strategy & Innovation. “Together, we are creating a culture where we can try new things, learn and fail fast, and work at startup speed.”


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