Wincanton celebrates start-up spirit as W2 labs programme gears up

Wincanton's commitment to driving innovation stepped up a gear as some of the brightest start-up firms from around the world pitched their proposals to work with the biggest British logistics firm this month.

Some 24 start-ups from Europe, Asia and North America were shortlisted and invited to present their proposals to Wincanton's experts in one of London's leading tech hubs, Code Node. The best of these will now work with the company over the summer to prove their concept with the opportunity for investment in the future.

Wincanton CEO, Adrian Colman, said of the programme: "Wincanton launched W² Labs this year to explore the exciting opportunities in the area of digital innovation, which includes data-driven solutions, intuitive designs and flat structures. Such initiatives could lead to improvements such as shortened supply chains, improved customer and employee experiences and advancements in automation and robotics, all of which we view as critical to the future of our business."

Wincanton's Marcos Hart, who is leading the programme, said: "W² Labs is a programme for start-ups to pitch their ideas and potentially see them used in our business. It's just one of our initiatives to embrace innovation and keep Wincanton at the forefront of the logistics industry. We are asking how technology can help to generate value for us and our customers, be even smarter in our operations, and provide the best possible support to our employees."

"We believe working with start-ups via the W2 Labs programme will help us to define the future of the UK logistics industry by tapping into their passion, creativity and desire to succeed."

Following the pitch day in May, discussions are ongoing as to which of the start-ups performed best on the day, and will ultimately deliver the most benefit in the long-term. The company will announce the entrants that will be progressing to the next stage of the programme in June.

W² Labs is run in conjunction with L Marks, innovation specialists and investors, who aim to connect corporates seeking to innovate and young companies with disruptive tech. They have worked with some of the UK's best known brands including: John Lewis, EDF Energy and IAG.