What is the TfWL Accelerator Programme?

The Transport for Wales Innovation programme (Lab by Transport For Wales or TfWL) is designed to develop new and innovative solutions, products and services to be implemented across Transport for Wales Rail to improve customer experience and improve business efficiency.

We run a 12-week accelerator programme consisting of workshops, stakeholder 1-2-1s, mentoring, networking opportunities with key rail executives and access to a wide range of resources and knowledge from across the rail & transport sector.

At the end of the 12 weeks, all businesses taking part on the programme will present their MVP (Minimal Viable Product) on demo day, with the goal of securing a contract with Transport for Wales Rail. Successful candidates will then have the financial security and access to resources needed to continue development of their product or service to integrate across Transport for Wales.

Who is it for?

We want all applicants to get the most out of this programme, so that their business can grow and so that Transport for Wales can continue to improve and provide the best levels of customer and passenger experience possible.

Lab by Transport for Wales is for any of the following, that have a product or idea that can benefit the rail sector;

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Start-ups
  • Scale-ups

Do I qualify for the programme?

If you, or your business, fits any of the following (not necessarily all), we think you’d be a great candidate for the programme:

  • You are a tech start-up business or entrepreneur – actively working on an idea (product or service)
  • You are a scale-up business in the transport/rail sector
  • Areas of interest include, but are not limited to; booking systems, on-board commerce, advertising, customer service, end-to-end customer experience, CRM & customer loyalty, infrastructure innovation or operational efficiency.
  • You have an existing product or service that you feel you could pivot to improve the customer experience and passenger experience across rail
  • You have a physical product, or are developing a physical product, that you feel could benefit Transport for Wales Rail and the passenger experience

If you have an innovative product, service, or idea that can drive improvement across Welsh rail, by improving customer experience, enhancing passenger safety or by improving business processes and efficiency – we’d love to hear from you.

Why join?

Get Industry Validated

Our programme will help you get industry validation for your product or service. We will give you access to speak and collaborate with key industry stakeholders, to validate any product assumptions and to better understand the procurement process and how viable your offering would be across the rail sector.

Up-Scale Your Business

You will be able to up-scale and up-skill through training, workshops and mentoring across design thinking, product design and commercial viability with the numerous workshops that will be delivered over the 12-week innovation programme.

An Innovative Workspace

Based in Newport, TfWL has a dedicated physical innovation lab. Candidates on the programme will have full access to this innovative workspace over the 12-week programme, and those that successfully pitch their offering to Transport for Wales at the end of the 12-week programme will be able to continue operating their business out of this space.

Learn from Innovation Leaders

You will take part in innovative workshops from some of the UK’s leaders across the Innovation field. Our programme will deliver workshops on topics including, value proposition design, design thinking, sprint workshops, customer and UX, service design and more.

Access to Rail Experts

Collaborate & network with some of the most influential and experienced experts across Transport for Wales, from senior management, engineers, marketing and commercial teams to help gain a better insight of how to tailor your offering and what impact it could have within the market.

Grow Your Business

Successful completion of the programme will mean you’re able to secure a commercial contract from Transport for Wales, giving you the required funding to complete your project and launch your offering across our business.

Frequently asked questions

Have a question? Take a look at our most frequently asked questions below.

How do I apply?

Simply click any of the “apply” buttons on site, or click here, and you will be taken to the F6S application page. F6S is the world’s largest platform for connecting founders with investors, accelerators and incubators, and is what powers our application process.

Where is the programme based?

Our programme runs from our dedicated physical Innovation hub located at Platform building in Newport, Wales.

What are the criteria to apply?

You must have an idea that you are actively working on, which can enhance the passenger experience across Transport for Wales Rail. You can be an entrepreneur, a start-up or a scale-up business. Those with an existing minimum viable product will be considered strong candidates. You must be able to work out of our innovation hub in Newport, Wales, for the duration of the programme for two days per week.

Who runs this Accelerator Programme?

The accelerator programme is an initiative from Transport for Wales, in collaboration with Alt Labs. Alt Labs are a dedicated Innovation firm, specialising in running innovation and accelerator programmes, to help corporates implement new and innovative solutions developed by lean and agile start-ups. You can learn more about Alt Labs here.

How long does the programme last?

Our innovation programme lasts for 12 weeks, with demo day taking place in week 12 of the programme.

How often will I need to be at the Innovation Hub?

There is space, if needed, for you to work out of our incubation area for the entire 12 weeks. If you are an established business, you will need to be available to attend our hub 1 day per week to take part in scheduled innovation sessions.

Do you take equity in my business?

No. Successful applicants will become candidates and take part in the programme for free. At the end of the 12 weeks, successful businesses will receive a commercial contract if their solution is viable and will benefit Transport for Wales Rail.

What is the evaluation criteria for applications?

All applications will be judged and evaluated by a panel of team members from Alt Labs and Transport for Wales Rail. Key criteria will be your idea or offering, the potential for it to benefit Transport for Wales Rail and how TfWL can help your business.

Apply for Cohort 3