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Next Generation Thinking

Wincanton’s W2 Labs is a ten-week programme which enables start-ups / scale-ups  or product developers to trial products at scale and receive expert mentoring and funding from Wincanton – leading supply chain partner for UK business – and L Marks, innovation solutions provider.

Applications opening in January 2024

2022 Entry Categories

Working with Wincanton

Wincanton is a leading supply chain partner for UK business. We work in industry sectors as diverse as retail eFulfilment, grocery, consumer goods and general merchandise, public sector, infrastructure, energy and defence, supporting our customers at every stage of their development and growth. Whether they are a small niche retailer, a growing brand or a multinational corporation, we add value through our supply chain expertise and our innovative approach to logistics challenges.

For almost 100 years we have entered new industry sectors, ventured into new geographies, broadened our services and used technology to manage the increasing pace and complexity of the supply chain.

Today, we are focusing on our roots in the UK and Ireland and are concentrating on what we do best – delivering market leading logistics solutions. Our aim is to bring fresh thinking to the supply chain, responding intelligently to business change and developing agile, flexible logistics solutions that respond to the needs of the supply chain for the future.

15 January 2024

Applications Open

03 March 2024

Applications Close

17 April 2024

Pitch Day

03 June 2024

Programme Live

12 September 2024

Demo Day

Our Mentors

The first class mentorship on offer means successful start-ups will have the chance to learn from experienced subject matter experts, who will be on hand to help both virtually and at relevant Wincanton sites. Each start-up will have opportunities to pitch for investment from both Wincanton and L Marks.

Carl Moore

MD, eFulfilment

Mentoring on

Digital Fulfilment

Carl was appointed MD of Digital and eFulfilment in January 2022. Previously, Carl was Chief Commercial Officer at Clipper Logistics having spent 13 years in a variety of operational and leadership roles. At Clipper, Carl operated and developed many large scale retail, ecommerce and returns operations for customers including John Lewis, Asos, Asda, Tesco, Wilko, Farfetch and Pretty Little Thing as well as establishing and developing operations for a number of ecommerce start-ups and mid-market retailers.

Prior to working for Clipper, Carl spent 12 years with retailer, The Homestyle Group (Rosebys, Bensons, Harveys, Fabric Warehouse) developing his passion for driving efficiency into retail supply chains and delivering innovative and creative solutions to support retail.

Mike Watkins

MD, Cygnia Logistics and Director of High Volume eFulfilment at Wincanton

Mentoring on

Digital Fulfilment

Mike is MD for the Cygnia Logistics business and Director of High Volume eFulfilment in Wincanton. In these roles, Mike is responsible for business growth in this sector including development of our customer propositions and operations, across Cygnia and the WEB eFulfilment hub in Corby which is the first 3rd Party shared user facility delivering automated eFulfilment services to multiple clients.

Before joining Wincanton, Mike has enjoyed a varied career in both in-house and third party logistics businesses, including senior roles in M&S, ASDA, Yodel, and Gist.

Jo Pick

People Director

Jo is the People Director for Wincanton Operations a logistics company based across the UK & Ireland.  Jo leads a team of circa 180 HR professionals who support the 19,500 Wincanton colleagues. Recruiting, developing and retaining great talent in the business and leading on the wellbeing and engagement agendas.  

Jo has experience in operations and has spent over 20 years in various HR roles, latterly working as HR Director in both the food industry and healthcare at Greencore and Johnson & Johnson respectively. She has a strong generalist and business partnering background, undertaking a number of transformational change initiatives including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and technology implementations. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 

Additionally, Jo is a Non-executive board member for Selby Educational trust, who’s mission it is “To provide an inspirational and outstanding learning experience for all young people in Selby and the surrounding area.


Dean Clamp

Group HSQ Director

Dean, Group HSEQ Director, joined Wincanton in 2012 and is responsible for setting the strategy for continuous improvements in health, safety, environment and quality.

Previously Dean worked at DHL as Vice President for Operational Risk for Mainland Europe after being HSE Director for the UK and Ireland for Exel and DHL. In Summer 2020 Dean joined the board of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT UK). He is also the Chairman of the CILT Transport & Logistics Safety Forum and the Competitor Benchmark Forum.

Rachel Gilbey

MD, General Merchandise

Rachel Gilbey is the Managing Director of General Merchandise at Wincanton, and is responsible for our operations for well-known brands like B&Q and Screwfix.

Rachel’s principle objective is to deliver safe, efficient and low cost operations for Wincanton’s customers. Alongside this the team drive and support our customers growth through continuous improvement, collaboration, innovation and automation.

Rachel has worked in third-party logistics for the Retail and Consumer market for over 18 years. Joining Wincanton as a graduate, she progressed through the business to take on senior strategic commercial roles, mostly recently as Finance Director of the Retail and Consumer Sector. Having made the journey herself, Rachel is a passionate sponsor of developing internal talent, both up the ranks and across business functions.

Having made the journey herself, Rachel is a passionate sponsor of developing internal talent, both up the ranks and across business functions.


Carl Hanson

Group Operations Director

Carl is Group Operations Director at Wincanton, responsible for group transport, business improvement, health, safety and sustainability, automation and fleet. Carl joined Wincanton in September 2016 as the Fleet Director and was appointed as Procurement & Fleet Director in April 2019.

Carl has a background in both commercial and business leadership and experience across a number of market sectors, including rail, construction, highways and utilities. Prior to joining Wincanton Carl was the Fleet Director at Balfour Beatty.

Paul Durkin

Chief Customer and Innovation Officer

Paul was appointed Chief Customer and Innovation Officer in June 2021. Previous to this Paul led Wincanton’s Digital & eFulfilment business, responsible for developing our direct to customer propositions and growth. Over the past 10 years Paul has established Wincanton as a market leader in home delivery and eFulfilment services with clients such as IKEA, M&S, Wickes and Screwfix.

Before joining Wincanton Paul worked for Tibbett and Britten and latterly DHL Supply Chain, leading supply chain operations for blue chip clients in the UK and Asia. Paul has a passion for developing people and chairs the CILT’s ASPIRE foundation, which provides funded education and training opportunities for those in transport and logistics.

Claire Charlton

Head of W2

Claire joined Wincanton in 2004 and is the Head of our W2 Innovation Programme. Claire works alongside the W2 Labs cohort to deliver proof of value and test the products at pace.

Claire also mentors the successful businesses to help them develop and commercialise the products as Wincanton propositions. Prior to her current role, Claire spent the last 10 years in sales, business development and solution design roles across the Wincanton Group. Previously she enjoyed 10 years in retail transport operations.

L Marks is a leading global innovation specialist which has created over 90 programmes with its partners in Europe, Asia and North America. Founded in 2014 with a presence in the UK and the US, L Marks has developed and delivered results-driven corporate innovation solutions, trusted by world-leading brands including BMW, Lloyd’s of London and Sodexo.

Through their award-winning Innovation Labs, L Marks’ partners have worked with over 400 startups with a successful deployment rate of over 70%. The L Marks New Ventures unit supports its clients to create and develop new revenue-generating businesses through its Venture Studio, and transform their corporate culture within their Intra-Lab. Building on its experience in innovation delivery, L Marks is expanding its advisory and capability development support through their recent acquisition of The Inovo Group, a US-based innovation consultancy with over 20 expertise in implementing scientific research and advanced analytics to guide organisations to succeed at strategic innovation.

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