Sir Richard Branson’s Platform-X Accelerator Calls For Startups To Revolutionise Rail Travel

Sir Richard Branson is looking for the top disruptive innovators to help transform the future of the railway with a new accelerator programme – Platform-X.

Platform-X is a joint venture between Virgin Trains on the East Coast and Virgin StartUp, which is designed to find the next generation of travel startups who could help revolutionise train journeys.

Selected companies will get access to £25M funding for in market trials through the Virgin Trains East Coast Innovation Fund and receive mentoring from several industry experts, including the Senior Management Team at Virgin Trains on the East Coast.

The 5-week initiative, starting on 3rd July, is inviting entrepreneurs to submit ideas to solve one of these four challenges:

  • Challenge 1: Improving the “End-to-End” journeys of passengers;
  • Challenge 2: Getting passengers “All On Board” the digital grid;
  • Challenge 3: Improving the “Behind the Scenes” decision making processes;
  • Challenge 4: “Wildcard” entries.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, comments:Business is at its best when it’s pushing boundaries and disrupting the status quo. I’m proud to see both Virgin StartUp and Virgin Trains coming together with the ambition to change the face of rail travel for those up and down the east coast.

“We are all capable of innovating, and should be encouraged to do so whenever possible. Even the most simple ideas can revolutionise standards, I’m excited to see what solutions are put forward to our teams”.

Deadline for entries is 11th June and shortlisted startups will be invited to pitch their ideas on 21st June to secure their place on the programme.