In order to succeed, a new company has to provide something different to what’s already out there. This is why a lot of innovation comes from start-ups.
We’ve always kept a start-up spirit alive within Virgin, so that we can keep innovating and disrupting industries.
At Virgin, we know that the best way to stay relevant is to embrace new ideas and technology. Platform-X is not only trying to find the best start-ups to work with, but is also providing a platform to help them grow and flourish.
The companies selected to join the accelerator will take part in an intensive five-week programme, which includes first-class mentoring from the talented team at Virgin Train, as well as industry-specific experts. Mentoring has been so incredibly valuable to my success in business, and I’m delighted to see our Virgin companies giving back to help tomorrow’s stars.
Breaking from industry norms, entrepreneurs selected onto the programme don’t need to give up equity in their business. Instead they will work closely with Virgin Trains to fast-track the procurement process with access to a £25 million fund, if there’s a business opportunity to run a trial together. Meaning not only is this an opportunity to find, build and launch solutions to overcome innovation gaps, but also a chance to help start-ups thrive.
Platform-X is looking to solve four key challenges. Innovation isn’t exclusive to one country, so applications from across the globe are welcome.
Challenge 1: Improve the “End-to-End” journeys of passengers
Provide solutions to transform rail journeys and improve the travelling experience from start to finish.
Challenge 2: Get passengers “All On Board” the digital grid
Provide solutions that can help grow our passenger database, improve our online customer experience and increase all aspects of our customer engagement.
Challenge 3: Improve the “Behind the Scenes” decision making processes
Improve the way we manage disruption and communications with staff; and provide solutions to transform our internal processes and drive operational efficiency.
Challenge 4: Provide “Wildcard” innovations
We want ideas – from existing solutions that are transforming customer experience to novel innovations that could be applied to the rail industry.