All aboard! TrenLab accelerator attracts 240 startups from 27 countries

- December 13, 2018

The TrenLab accelerator attracts 240 startups from 27 different countries in its first open call.

Read More: TrenLab holds 1st open call to put new startup accelerator into locomotion

TrenLab, the new startup accelerator launched by Renfe and Wayra, has captured 240 projects in search of a technological revolution ranging from traveler experience to commercial planning, interaction with customers and real-time logistics management, among many others.

Among the 240 candidates, 65 came from 27 countries abroad, including the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, India, France, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina while 73% of the total projects came from Spain.

A committee of experts is already working on the evaluation of the projects, among which 15 will be finalists, and the three winners will be announced in the coming weeks.

The program will have a prize of up to 50,000 euros in financing, to which is added the possibility of Renfe or Wayra investing in the startup, which is in addition to the six-month acceleration program with access to Wayra’s network of spaces for entrepreneurs that are distributed throughout a dozen countries.

Read More: Wayra accelerator gets a complete makeover, will focus on ‘more mature’ startups

Sources close to the process explain that 43% of startups have presented initiatives that face the challenge of digital services in mobility — a concept that involves a revolution in the travel experience of customers.

Another percentage of startup candidates (37%) directed their focus towards the digitization of operations from the point of view of adapting Renfe’s logistics offer for freight demand, while 19% of projects offered solutions in the field of on-demand logistics and real-time operations management.

In its call, Renfe valued the use of solutions based on the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (machine learning and neural networks), big data, blockchain, and augmented and virtual reality.

TrenLab joins other public sector accelerators, such as CorreoLabs (Correos) or Impulsa Visión (RTVE). Already in the transport sector highlights experiences such as Hangar 51 (IAG), Ryanair Labs (Ryanair), StartupsXpress (Deutsche Bahn), DigitalSNCF (SNCF) and CAF Ventures (CAF).

Read More: Renfe, Wayra launch TrenLab startup incubator and accelerator at South Summit

The new TrenLab will promote business initiatives in the initial stages, allow incorporating knowledge to the company, increase the speed of adaptation to the current technological environment, and advance in the digital transformation of the railway system while always taking the needs of customers and users into account.

Digitization is at the center of the objectives that TrenLab will tackle to explore areas such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Blockchain, artificial intelligence solutions and Big Data. The acceleration program to be promoted is aimed at any project that is in the beginning stages, with a vocation for growth, innovative character and compatible with the Renfe Group.

Renfe’s new accelerator will be developed over the next two years and seeks to promote the digital transformation of the company and strengthen its position in the sector.

TrenLab was launched under an open formula of collaboration in the development of disruptive ideas that add new value in the mobility and transport market as a central part of Renfe’s activities.

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Tim Hinchliffe

Tim Hinchliffe the editor in chief at Novobrief. Previously, he was a reporter for The Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa, and Colombia Reports in South America. Principal at Espacio.