Wincanton launches disruptive innovation programme: W2 Labs.

8 March, 17

Wincanton, the largest British logistics company, has launched W2 Labs – a new programme aimed at challenging start-ups from around the world to develop innovative solutions to industry challenges defined by the Wincanton Group.

Run in partnership with L Marks, the corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor, start-ups are invited to apply to work with Wincanton across five categories.

  • Improving asset utilisation – improving the management of both internal and customer assets.
  • Accessing and brokering excess space – helping Wincanton buy and sell under-utilised warehouse space and transport capacity.
  • Connected cab and driver technology – creating a better connection between the driver in the cab and vehicle to improve safety, increase efficiency and deliver a better driving experience.
  • Data challenges – enhancing the value of our data to improve decision making.
  • Wildcard – this is an open category for ideas that could help Wincanton make breakthrough developments in its business model or supply chain market.

Selected start-ups will develop their business proposition with Wincanton and will receive intensive business mentoring from the company’s Senior Executives.

Adrian Colman, Wincanton CEO, said of the W2 Labs launch: “We see new technologies transforming the way the logistics industry works and there has never been a better time to innovate in the sector. That’s why we want to work with the best start-up businesses from around the world to help us to exploit the possibilities of the digital supply chain.”

Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur and Chairman of L Marks, said: “The launch of W2 Labs is a fantastic opportunity to develop ideas in an increasingly active tech space.”

“Innovation in the sector has been limited to a few large players but Wincanton’s commitment to   W2 Labs demonstrates the company’s desire to lead the challenge and find new ways to innovate. I’m excited that L Marks will be joining Wincanton on this journey to discover and work with some incredible start-ups.”

Applications for W2 Labs are open until 9 April 2017, with the best entries invited to pitch in late spring. A 10-week intensive collaboration period between Wincanton and the selected start-ups will then follow, with concepts being demonstrated at the end of the process. At this stage, the concepts could be progressed on a longer-term commercial basis by the W2 Labs partners.

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


Find out more at


For further information, please contact:
Liam O’Shea
0117 906 4022 / 07912 558 260
[email protected]

Harriet Holbrook
0117 906 4517 / 0792 105 5697
[email protected]


Notes to Editors

Programme timeline

  • Applications close:9 April 2017
  • Pitch Day: 9 May 2017
  • Demo Day: 5 September 2017


Wincanton plc
Wincanton is the largest British logistics firm, providing supply chain consultancy and solutions to some of the world’s most admired brands. We employ approximately 18,000 people across more than 200 sites and have a 3,400-strong fleet of vehicles.

Our business started in 1925 delivering milk and dairy products. Although our heritage means a lot us, we have since expanded to provide supply chain solutions across a wide range of sectors including retail, construction, defence and energy.

As a trusted and respected business partner, we design and implement services that range from setting up and operating distribution networks through to bonded warehouses, technology hosting, container transport and storage. We strive for operational excellence in everything we do.

We work hard to understand and respond to our customers’ needs, build long term relationships and use our skills and expertise to deliver a smarter, added value service, every day. Our customers rely on us to make their businesses operate more efficiently and to gain a competitive advantage in their sector.

Improved stock visibility and availability, reduction of lead times, collaborative warehousing and transport models, and an absolute commitment to continuous improvement, are just some of the reasons why many of our customer relationships extend to more than 20 years.

Key facts:

  • Annual revenue in the UK & Ireland exceeds £1 billion
  • Circa 18,000 employees including 4,000+ drivers
  • Operates from 200+ locations with 6.6 million square feet of warehousing across the UK and Ireland
  • Operating responsibility for around 3,400 vehicles


L Marks

L Marks is a corporate innovation specialist and early stage investor. They build bridges between large corporates seeking to innovate more quickly with young companies with disruptive technologies, products and services.

Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Stuart Marks, they run bespoke start-up partnership programmes across industry sectors, supporting rapid innovation and connecting them with the best start-ups.

They work with clients such as John Lewis, BMW Financial Services and International Airlines Group, to identify where they believe the challenges are in their businesses and then turn these into opportunities for improvement and innovation. Each programme is tailored to deliver real solutions to the corporate partners and create real opportunities for start-ups to test and grow their product with a major partner.

Find out more:


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