As Wales’ leading rail dedicated innovation programme, the Lab by Transport for Wales accelerator is a great way for start-ups, like you, to grow and get your product to market – fast! 

Perhaps you’re a tech start-up looking for reasons to join the TfWL accelerator programme?  

If this is the case – then read on. 

We’ve created a list of 20 reasons your start-up MUST join our accelerator programme for fast-track business growth.  

1. Location of the Lab

As part of the TfWL accelerator programme we offer you a free workspace to develop your idea. The Lab is located in Newport’s central innovation hub, Platform.

The Lab sports a spacious, innovative open plan design to encourage collaboration between start-ups on the programme.

Opposite the Lab is Newport train station, making getting to and from the Lab easy. Newport has a great selection of amenities for you to explore throughout your time on the programme.  

For more information on The Lab, see our blog post > 

2. Not limited to just Welsh startups

At TfWL, we welcome start-ups from all areas of the UK – or even abroad for remote cohorts! 

You don’t have to be from Wales to take part, if you can speak English or Welsh on a business level your application is greatly welcomed! 

3. Easy application process

We have a quick and simple application process to make things easier for you when you apply. 

All you need to do is answer a few questions about your business and you’re good to go! 

4. Successful start-ups are awarded a contract for work with TfW

Successful pitches on demo day will enter business case review with TfWR. This allows start-ups to negotiate a contract of work with TfWR. 

This contract will allow you to finish developing your product, get it to market, build exposure and develop a case study for your business to showcase your product. 

5. We don’t ask for equity in your business

Many accelerator programmes will ask for start-ups to offer a share in equity, either via shares or intellectual property.  

At TfWL we believe that your start-up should remain your start-up, so we won’t ask for any shares in your business. 

Our sole aim is to help your start-up grow! 

6. Funding

If you’re successful in pitching your solution, you will enter a negotiation stage with TfWR to continue development and win a contract of work. 

7. Support and guidance

Push your start-up to succeed with weekly check ins, mentoring sessions and workshops.  

An accelerator provides a strong sense of community, emotional backing, and the chance to grow alongside founders who are in the same position as you. 

It is important to take advantage of this support by attending all scheduled events throughout the programme.  

8. Accelerated knowledge

In just 3 months you can learn years of experience and apply it to your start-up.  

Accelerator programmes are delivered by industry professionals and leaders who have previously been in your startups position.  

From business model development, to customer validation, pitching, fundraising and prototyping, they have all the knowledge you’ll need to be a successful founder.  

9. Continued support

Even after the programme we will continue to support your startup. 

Our alumni support continues far beyond the programme and includes educational and emotional support so that you can continue to grow.  

10. Motivation

Starting a business can often feel like a lonely uphill battle. 

Our open plan Lab provides an open space to promote collaboration so you can interact with other founders in your position. 

This level of collaboration will encourage you to stay motivated and think positively. 

11. Grow your network

For start-ups, an accelerator programme is a great way to get your foot in the door with a larger network of people.  

Our programme offers you the chance to mingle with business mentors, company stakeholders, angel investors and venture capitalists. 

Having access to a larger network may open up opportunities for you to further your business and receive extra funding.  

12. FREE

Taking part in the TfWL accelerator programme won’t cost you a single penny!  

The programme is completely FREE for you to take part, as there is no joining fee and no hidden costs to worry about. 

13. You may not need to travel

Our Lab is in Newport, Wales which means start-ups would usually have to travel to the Lab to take part. 

Due to recent events surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic we have introduced measures so that the entirety of cohort 2 can be delivered online.  

This means you can do it from your own home or office space and reduce travel costs altogether!  

Learn more about why we did this > 

14. We have successfully accelerated many startups

Cohort 1 of the programme saw 5 of the 8 startups who took part proceed into commercial discussions with TfW. 

Three of the start-ups were crowned winners of the programme and awarded a cash prize as well as a contract to develop their product further with TfW.  

There is always opportunity for you to progress your work further with TfW,  even if you don’t ‘win’ the cohort.  

Take a look at our winning start-ups from Cohort 1 >  

15. A gateway to future customers

Accelerator programmes are a great way to create an early buzz for your start-up. 

On our Demo Day, you will be able to pitch your idea to TfW stakeholders, angel investors, venture capitals and media personnel. 

Sharing what you are doing to develop your product with these prospects can form a database of leads and allows you to get a head start on brand recognition and development.

16. Develop your innovation skills

Accelerator programmes focus on teaching you the best way to incorporate innovation into important tasks in daily working life.  

This includes marketing, communications, finance and technical skills.  

Developing these skills further means your business can run more smoothly and efficiently.

17. Low risk

In everything that you are taking on as a start-up, there will be risk factors to consider.  

Our accelerator programme is a low risk environment for you to validate and test that your product is fit for market by identifying these risks and helping you minimize them ahead of time.  

You will not be left to deal with this alone, our industry mentors are there to guide you in the right direction towards proactively taking on these risks in and managing them in the most effective way possible.  

18. See into the bigger picture

Most start-ups often find it difficult to see how their business will grow beyond the first year.  

Our delivery team and mentors are there to inspire you to think about the future in depth and suggest tools and tactics to help you achieve your goals in the quickest way possible

19. Become socially responsible

The TfWL accelerator focuses on improving the customer experience across Welsh rail.  

By joining, you can learn about what creates a great customer experience and create a framework to measure the impact your products will have on people and the environment. 

20. Perfect your pitch

To grow your business successfully, you need to be able to deliver an impressive pitch. 

The TfWL accelerator will help you perfect your pitch so that you have the best chance at securing that extra funding for your start-up.  

If fast-track business growth is something your start-up is interested in then the TfWL accelerator programme is ideal for you.  

Learn more here > 

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