The 12-week programme, developed by Transport for Wales (TfW) and Alt Labs, sees start-ups from across the UK gain tailored support and mentoring to develop innovative ideas, before pitching to a panel of experts from across the rail industry at a ‘Demo Day’ event on Thursday, May 26. The theme for this year’s cohort group (Cohort 4) focused on the key challenge of improving rail users’ experiences.
This year’s event marked the first in-person ‘Demo Day’, following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, which saw previous events take place virtually. The day included presentations from businesses involved in all previous cohorts, including Briteyellow, PassageWay (Cohort 1 winners), Spatial Cortex (Cohort 2 winner), and RoboK (Cohort 3 winner).
The winner of Cohort 4, Cufflink, which makes businesses more secure and compliant by distributing their personal and sensitive data and licensing its access, was announced live during the event, held at popular Cardiff event space, Depot. Trophies were presented by TfW Chief Operating Officer, Marie Daly. Guests were also treated to keynote speeches from Professor Simon Gibson CBE, and TfW’s David O’Leary, Commercial and Customer Experience Director.
Speaking about the success of the programme, TfW’s Insight and Innovation Manager, Michael Davies, said:
“The success of previous cohorts gave us high hopes for Cohort 4 and the companies have certainly delivered, including winner, Cufflink. The ideas we’ve seen from every cohort has demonstrated that a focus on nurturing talent can deliver practical solutions, leading to an improved customer experience.
“We were delighted to also be able to welcome back some of our previous participants, particularly our previous winners, allowing them to present to TfW colleagues and leaders from across the tech industry.”
Alt Labs CEO, Imran Anwar, commented:
“The Lab by Transport for Wales accelerator programme has highlighted the benefits of innovative thinking. I’m proud to have helped nurture and train the businesses of Cohort 4 to have a fit for purpose MVP and pitch in just 12 weeks. The positive reception to each idea presented is a testament to their dedication and hard work.
“This has proven to be a programme that delivers tangible results and we are excited to begin planning the next programme of activity to aid Transport for Wales in their aim to nurture new digital talent.”
As well as winners Cufflink, the companies that made up Cohort 4 included:
- Clickflow – A technology company that helps organisations make more informed decisions through the deployment of business intelligence solutions.
- Porter Travel – A digital travel companion designed to make travel effortless from discovery and booking, through to experiencing and enjoying.
- Fellow alumni presenting on the day, to an audience of transport professionals and tech entrepreneurs, included:
- Jnction – Creating modern, web, big data and app digital solutions to improve passenger journey experiences.
- Qubopt – Software that empowers organisations to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems through quantum AI.
- Utility AR – Developing augmented reality to save time and money on maintenance, servicing, repairs and health and safety.
- Route Konnect – IoT sensor network providers, allowing tracking of detailed, real-time traffic and congestion movements