We’re excited to announce Pitch Day is underway!

And cohort 2 is bigger than ever!

As a result of receiving a record breaking 114 applicants, we have spread our pitching process over 2 days.

When is pitch day?

Pitch day is taking place on Monday 27th and Thursday 30th July.

Unlike cohort 1, this pitching process will take place virtually – as will the entirety of cohort 2.

This is following government guidelines to “work from home where you can” and allows for a wider range of start-ups to take part.

What’s involved?

Start-ups will pitch their business case and provide an overview of their business to a judging panel. This panel will be comprised of TfWR & KeolisAmey stakeholders, as well as the innovation delivery team.

Start-ups that pitch successfully will be invited to take part in cohort 2 of the Lab by Transport for Wales Innovation Accelerator Programme.

These start-ups will receive expert innovation & commercial mentoring to develop a solution to be used by Transport for Wales Rail.

What kinds of start-ups are involved?

Over 20 companies will be pitching over the course of the 2 days. Of these pitching, 8-12 successful start-ups will be invited to take part in cohort 2.

Solutions range from artificial intelligence to measure skin temperature, seat reservations and capacity demand management.

This mix of expertise will ensure that the Lab is able to offer solutions to challenge areas across the entirety of TfWR.

COVID has had a huge impact on “normal life” and business as usual.

Because of this, TfWR looking to be proactive in creating a safe environment that does not disrupt passengers journeys.

Shortlisting has shown some promising, potential solutions to COVID related issues. As such, TfWR are excited to see more from these start-ups, and begin planning “the new norm”

TfW Rail Services’ Head of Customer Experience and Innovation Barry Lloyd said: “Our Innovation Lab is about working with start up companies to use innovation to improve the experience for our customers when traveling on our network.

“We’ve adapted our next cohort to focus specifically on how those innovations can be used during the evolving Covid-19 situation.

“I’m delighted that more than 100 companies have come forward wanting to work with us, pitching genuinely creative ideas that we are excited to take forward. Our teams in the Lab will shortlist the companies we feel we can best work with to develop those ideas further.”

Adam Foster, Alt Labs Head of Marketing added: “We’re really excited following cohort 1 of the Lab by Transport for Wales accelerator programme. We’ve seen first-hand exactly what is achievable in terms of problem solving and developing solutions for Transport for Wales Rail, and how start-ups are making the most of the opportunity that the Lab presents.

“The innovation partnership between Alt Labs who are powering the TfWL programme, Keolis and Transport for Wales Rail has shown results for cohort 1 so we’re riding that excitement in to cohort 2, as we’ve seen almost double the number of start-ups apply for our remote programme than what we had in cohort 1.”

Past Success

TfWL recently announced 5 of the 8 start-ups from cohort 1 had successfully entered negotiations with TfWR, following demo day.

With such a great success rate from cohort 1, everyone at TfWR and TfWL is exited to see what the outcomes of cohort 2 will be.

Moving Forward

Cohort 2 will begin in August. Over the 11 week programme, start-ups will develop an idea into an MVP or proof of concept.

This will then be delivered “Dragons-Den style” to a TfWR judging panel. Successful pitches will then enter negotiations with TfWR to finalise a contract of work and launch their product across TfWR.