Start-ups challenged to address supply chain issues

Start-ups challenged to address supply chain issues

British logistics company Wincanton is once again challenging start-ups to pitch their solutions for industry challenges as part of its W2 Labs innovation program, which is open internationally.

Run in partnership with L Marks, the corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor, this is the second year that the program has run with start-ups invited to demonstrate the value of their work which will span four categories:

  • Maximum visibility. The judges are looking for better ways to see how everything moves through the whole supply chain, from source to destination; every product, every asset, everything. Customers, and the customer’s customer, want to know where it all is, all of the time. What can you bring us to help them see?
  • 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? What breakthrough technology, tools, working practices will make them smarter, happier, places to be? People, process, technology – what do you do that will be a major part of this seismic shift?
  • Intelligent decision making. Data, data everywhere and never stopping to think. Because it’s not just about big data, it’s about big decisions, based on intelligent input. It’s about anticipating, pre-empting, reacting… Everybody wants to be able to predict outcomes, monitor quality, plot demand, etc. Have you got data to add? Have you got smarter sensors? Is your intelligence artificial and adaptable to the world?
  • Open season. This is the wildcard. The judges are looking for the best and brightest ideas that can light up logistics, to change the game, be disruptive and surprising. Must be super-safety conscious, and focused on being industry-leading in health & safety, this year your ideas should focus on ‘SafetyTech’, in particular, for both employees and the general public. If you think that you have something that will help make the world a safer place, now is your chance. Bring it on!

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to develop their business proposition with Wincanton and will receive intensive business mentoring from the company’s senior executives, with a view to securing an ongoing commercial agreement.

ZigZag, a technology business, which helps online retailers improve their customer service and international returns proposition, is just one of last year’s W2 Labs success stories.

Al Gerrie, ZigZag founder, said of working with Wincanton: “We’re already confident in our ZigZag solution yet logistics is a huge industry and there are many verticals we have not yet touched on. With the guidance and support of the Wincanton team we have been able to look at new and innovative ways of using the ZigZag platform to improve the returns process in other sectors.”

Wincanton CEO Adrian Colman said of the W2 Labs 2018 launch: “Following the success of last year’s program, which had over 90 submissions from 12 countries, we are excited to see the breadth of talent this year’s W2 Labs brings. At Wincanton, we recognise that to innovate we need an open and curious mind; an approach where we combine our own experience with that of the best start-up businesses from around the world. Together, we can exploit the possibilities of the digital supply chain to the benefit of our customers.”

Applications for W2 Labs are open until 21 October 2018, with the best entries invited to pitch in late spring. A 12-week intensive collaboration period between Wincanton and the selected start-ups will then follow, with concepts being demonstrated at the end of the process.

For more information or to enter your company for consideration, visit




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