London Midland Labs seeks innovative startups for Transport Experience Accelerator

Train operator London Midland has recently opened applications into a new initiative aimed at helping emerging startups in the rail and mobility sector through an accelerator program.

London Midland Labs, The London Midland-led startup collaboration scheme, aims to partner with innovative startups looking to shake up the customer experience of travel and improve the efficiency of rail travel. For startups in the Intelligent Mobility space, this is an unprecedented opportunity to test out their products in a live environment; real data and real customers that you just wouldn’t get access to elsewhere.

As one of the UK’s highest performing franchise operators, London Midland serve 75 million journeys per year for their customers, employing a dedicated team of 2,400 rail professionals and have invested over £400 million in the past 8 years. The company is owned by Go-Ahead Group, a company responsible for 37% of all UK Train and bus passenger journeys turning over £3.3 billion annually.

The inaugural London Midland Labs Accelerator aims to work with companies across a 12 week period (followed by an additional three months of incubation support/free office space), providing them with the expert mentoring and support they need to progress their businesses and achieve their joint goal of creating Simply Better Journeys.

Based at the Serendip Smart City Incubator at Innovation Birmingham Campus, startups on the London Midland Labs Accelerator will work alongside other like-minded entrepreneurs on equivalent schemes run by partners like Barclays, and get to use the excellent facilities – such as a state of the art device testing lab. They’ll also sit alongside key London Midland partners/suppliers.

Aside from access to industry-leading knowledge, successful startups will enjoy:

• A free rail pass for 6 months (London – Birmingham –Liverpool)
• Free workspace in the dedicated Lab space
• Access to the latest hardware and software for piloting and prototyping
• Access to London Midland customers, train and passenger data.

Whilst this is an equity free programme and no Intellectual Property is transferred, the London Midland Labs Accelerator will help selected startups understand potential funding options, and offer the opportunity to engage with relevant investment opportunities, both during the programme and at a final ‘Demo Day’ event. The two most popular startups at the Demo Day will also be awarded cash prize of £5,000.

What are London Midland Labs looking for?

● Early-stage startups in the transport/mobility sector.
● You have more than idea; preferably a minimum viable product.
● Areas of interest include (but are not limited to): booking, on-board commerce, advertising, customer service, the end-to- end customer experience, CRM and loyalty, real-time communications, content, infrastructure innovation and operational efficiency. If you help improve the customer experience, they want to hear from you!
● Innovators with a physical product that could enhance how we run our trains (efficiencies of energy consumption, logistics, etc)
● You could benefit from partnership/distribution opportunities with London Midland – you want to understand how your product could work at scale.

Key Dates

Applications to apply for the London Midland Labs Accelerator close on the 8th February 2017, with the selection process and onboarding of the selected startups following shortly after.

Programme kick off is 20th Feb with the final Demo Day happening mid May. All in all – a fast-track process, we think you’ll agree!

To find out more about London Midland Labs, including some of the mentors that would work with you on the programme and the FAQs – head straight to London Midland Labs Accelerator page.

Also, if you think this programme is just the ticket for your startup, we’ve included a handy ‘apply here’ link too, so you can get your application on its way as soon as possible.

Applications on the 8th February 2017 – so don’t delay in submitting your startup.

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