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Start-ups shortlisted for Wincanton W2 Labs programme

Following a full day of pitches on Friday, Wincanton has shortlisted six start-ups to take part in its W2Labs programme.

This is the second year that the Wincanton programme has run in partnership with LMarks, the corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor.

Success stories from the 2017-18 programme include retail returns specialist ZigZag, which has gone on to be part of Wincanton’s W2 partner network and part of its eFulfilment proposition for the ecommerce sector.

The start-ups, who pitched solutions across four key categories, will work with Wincanton to demonstrate and develop their ideas over a period of 12 weeks, with a view to securing a commercial agreement.

Pitch day, which took place at Digital Catapult, the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre, took the form of a series of presentations to a panel of senior Wincanton sponsors.

The sponsors will go on to mentor the shortlisted applicants.

From a total of 152 applications to the programme, 15 presented with six shortlisted:

Marcos Hart, Group Transformation & Risk Director at Wincanton, lead the pitch panel.

He commented:

“We were incredibly impressed by the quality and diversity of applicants on pitch day. For the second year running, we have seen new ideas and technologies which have the potential to drive commercial benefits for our customers.

“The levels of enthusiasm and energy from applicants was contagious. The combination of new talent and a passion to succeed is what will drive the future of logistics.

“We very much look forward to working with the shortlisted start-ups and helping them develop their propositions – collaboration and innovation, in action.”

Daniel Saunders, LMarks Chief Executive, added:

“We’re delighted to be running the second iteration of W2 Labs with Wincanton this year, and I look forward to seeing what each of the selected start-ups achieve over the next 10 weeks.

“The Pitch Day showed us that there is a wealth of entrepreneurial talent out there working to transform the logistics and supply chain space.

“Building on the successes of last year’s programme, I anticipate that some truly disruptive solutions will come out of the accelerator process this time around.”

The categories for this year’s W2 Labs programme are as follows:

1. Maximum Visibility

We are looking for better ways to see how everything moves through the whole Supply Chain, from source to destination; every product, every asset, everything.

Our customers and our customer’s customer want to know where it all is, all of the time.

What can you bring us to help us see?

2. Warehouse of the future

In the future, we know that there will be more automation and greater efficiency, but as the High Street transforms, warehouses become the new “storefront”.

So how will the best warehouses actually be run?

We are looking for breakthrough technology, tools, working practices will make them smarter, happier places to be.

3. Intelligent decision making

Data, data everywhere… Because it’s not just about big data, it’s about big decisions, based on intelligent input.

It’s about anticipating, pre-empting, reacting.

We want to be able to predict outcomes, monitor quality, plot demand, etc. So, this is about sensors, AI, data gathering and analytics and so on.

4. Open Season

This is our wildcard.

We’re looking for the best and brightest ideas that can light up logistics, to change the game, be disruptive and surprising.