We’re excited to announce Platform-X: the startup accelerator from Virgin Trains – designed in partnership with us.

Virgin Trains has set a series of key innovation challenges and we're searching for start-ups to solve them, whilst also developing their business into scale-ups over an intensive five-week period.

The aim of this accelerator is to find businesses ready to scale up that can help improve the experience of train travel.

The Virgin Group is always on the lookout for exciting businesses to partner or work with. Platform-X provides the chance to fast-track the collaboration process and find disruptive start-ups that align to our goals and challenges. This programme will uncover industry-changing innovations, and give talented start-ups a platform to grow and develop their products.


Why this accelerator is different

  • No Equity

Zero equity is taken in exchange for taking part. However, discussions are open towards the end of the programme for the right opportunity.

  • £25m fund

Where we see a business opportunity together, we can offer funding in exchange for running a trial.

  • Procurement

We fast-track the procurement process to partner with start-ups that align to our goals and challenges.

  • Big brand

Build a relationship with the UK’s most recognised brand famous for fostering innovation. We know that progress relies on collaboration. 

Why you should apply

  • Mentorship

Access to Virgin Trains senior management team, external specialists and experts across the Virgin Group.

  • Support

Go-to-market strategy and product validation from Virgin Trains experts and customers.

  • Space

Access to office space in London at Virgin StartUp (W2) 

The Challenges

Challenge 1: Improving the “End-to-End” journeys of passengers – Providing solutions that will transform the rail journeys of Virgin Trains customers; improving the travelling experience from start to finish.

Challenge 2: Getting passengers “All On Board” the digital grid – Providing solutions that can help Virgin Trains grow its passenger database, improve online customers experience and increase all aspects of customer engagement;

Challenge 3: Improving the “Behind the Scenes” decision making processes
Including the way Virgin Trains manage disruption and communications with staff, providing solutions that can transform internal processes, drive operational efficiency and improve the customer experience; or

Challenge 4: “Wildcard” entries  
From existing solutions that are transforming the customer experience and novel innovations that could be applied to the rail industry.


May 28th 2017 – applications close

June 6th 2017 - Pitch-Day:

Pitch to Virgin Trains senior management team, who will select 8 finalists to take part in the programme.

3rd -31st July 2017 - Platform-X Programme launches:
Five intensive days designed working with senior leadership on go-to-market strategy and product validation

7th August 2017 - Trial Week:
Test and trial the most promising solutions in market with our rail customers

11th August 2017
 - Programme ends:

Possibility of long term commercial agreement.

To find out more and to apply for the program head to www.virginstartup.org/platformx