Together with Virgin Trains, we’ve been on the hunt for innovative businesses ready to scale and help solve real challenges in the rail industry.

After receiving hundreds of applications, this was whittled it down to sixteen shortlisted businesses. The founders of these businesses were then invited to pitch to a panel made up of judges from Virgin Trains and the Department for Transport.

We were blown away by the quality of the entrants, the ideas and the ground-breaking solutions. However there can only be eight finalists – two in each category - and we’re thrilled to announce them. These finalists will be taking place in an five-week accelerator at London King’s Cross station, working together with Virgin StartUp and Virgin Trains to grow their businesses. At the end of this program? Another pitch day, but this time they'll be pitching to roll out their businesses to thousands of Virgin Train customers and potentially gain access to Virgin Train's £25m innovation fund. 

Read Richard Branson's blog on Platform-X.

Platform X: the winners revealed

Platform X: the winners revealed

End-to-end

Businesses in the end-to-end category were focussing on solutions to making the journey better, from door to destination. Watch the video below.

Platform-X: Challenge 1 - Improving the “End-to-End” Journey

Finalists

Enterprise Bot

Enterprise Bot is an Artificial Intelligence company that build chatbot solutions for enterprises.

Problem

The customer service industry currently is human-driven, and a query made online through a form or via email can take hours to get a response – it’s inefficient, time-consuming, and easy for queries to get lost.

Solution

Enterprise Bot responds to customer queries quickly through intelligent bots which are easy, precise and quick. They use a Natural Learning Processing system which understands queries in different contexts. The bots offer replies which are 85 times faster, at just 40% of the cost.

AirPortr Ltd

AirPortr Ltd is transforming air, rail and sea travel by enabling a luggage-free, hassle-free, and predictable journey.

Problem

When you’re a passenger, struggling with luggage on a journey can be stressful and diminish passenger experience, even if everything else runs smoothly.

Solution

The AirPortr brand currently delivers thousands of bags each month, with the most popular sectors being families, silver travellers and businesses. Separating passengers from their luggage would allow Virgin Trains to extend their service reach far beyond the experience on the train itself - TrainPortr could collect passenger luggage from any London location and deliver directly to Euston or Kings Cross.

All On Board

The All On Board category focussed on finding out more about the customers travelling on the service – find out more with the video below.

Platfrom-X: Challenge 2 - All “On board”

Finalists

Peak BI

Peak BI provide Data Analytics as a Service to help their clients thrive in the data economy and understand their customers better.

Problem

The ability to use data is the lifeblood of competition today - but while there are lots of data analytics products and technologies in the market, it’s usually up to customers to implement, and 80% of projects fail to deliver the intended value.
Solution

Peak provides DaaS (Data Analytics-as-a-Service) designed to enable companies to outsource part or all of their data management and data analytics on a subscription basis. Their competitive advantage comes through their innovative platform – an Artificial Intelligence platform powered by Machine Learning and Deep Learning algorithms.

LivingLens

LivingLens capture and analyse video via speech, actions and sentiment, translating human signals into insights.

Problem

Video is a huge opportunity for brands to better understand real people talking about their experiences of products and services. However, until now there has been no easy way to extract meaningful experience data from video.

Solution

LivingLens capture data from apps, webcams, surveys and social, and then extracts this data using MSR, emotion recognition and computer vision. A video response can contain up to six times more information than a comparable free text response in a survey, and their technology is able to unlock that.

Behind the scenes

The businesses pitching as part of Behind The Scenes were focussing on ways to make processes more efficient right from the start of the service delivery – train, track and more. Watch the video below to learn more.

Platform-X: Challenge 3 - Behind the Scenes

Finalists

Wyld Mesh

Wyld Mesh is an intelligent real-time hybrid network, notification system and journey planner for public transport.

Problem

More and more passengers are demanding relevant and personalised real-time service status and disruption information, to improve their journey experience and ensure their travel is convenient.

Solution

Wyld Mesh’s hybrid networking provides passengers with a real-time notification system that combines traditional Over The Top (OTT) services and device to device (D2D) communication, so even without internet connectivity they can still receive information. Wyld Mesh also uses machine learning to understand a passenger’s journey patterns and provide the context for personally relevant notifications.

Warwick Analytics

Warwick Analytics provide automated predictive analyticsthat improve customer experience and quality.

Problem

Data scientists spend 80%+ of their time preparing data for analysis, particularly when it involves text and numbers - there is an overwhelming amount of heterogeneous 'Voice of Customer' ("VoC") data out there, such as reviews, complaints, surveys, CRM, social media etc.

Solution

Warwick Analytics have algorithms that are focused on automating predictive analytics, and provide a predictive early warning system which helps CX professionals, and service managers alike, focus on key emerging hotspots of issues.

Platform X: the winners revealed

Wildcard

The Wildcard category was for exciting, novel innovations that could be applied to the rail industry.

RotaGeek

RotaGeek creates tailored data-driven scheduling solutions to benefit both businesses and employees.

Problem

Effective scheduling is about more than just writing shifts, and it’s about more than just transferring from spreadsheet rotas to digital shift plans. Effective scheduling can be a huge asset to businesses through leveraging data to determine staff demand, forecasting, and business performance. It can also help engage and empower staff through providing more flexibility.

Solution

Our solution is not a ‘one size fits all’ product because no business is alike in its staffing, business needs, and customer demand. So whilst we help solve the existing problem of freeing up management time and digitising the process, we also help unlock an array of insights and opportunities to help businesses optimise their operations beyond workforce management.

QShy

QShy’s software provides customer movement insight for transport organisations and real-time services.

Problem

Demand on transport systems is increasing, impacting customer experiences and the environment. In cities people are using many modes of transport and demanding better experiences. However, there are limits to the amounts of money, time and space that can be spent on transport infrastructure and cars.

Solution              

Innovative software-only interface for measuring and managing pedestrian movement using device and system data, together with complex algorithms. Customers are delivered seamless journey experiences while using multiple modes of transport.

 

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