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NS and ProRail seek startups to make stations more sustainable

With 1.2 million travellers every day, NS has a central role as a transport provider. ProRail and the NS want to make the stations even more sustainable, with consideration for how energy is consumed, how waste is processed and how people connect with one another. Does your startup offer a potential solution? Are you the next partner of NS and/or ProRail? Register now before Oct 13 to enter the Green Hub matchmaking at UtrechtInc.

Sustainable stations

The Netherlands has approximately 400 train stations. Busy nodes in a hub on the journey from door to door. People rushing to their train, grabbing a cup of coffee, using the restrooms or waiting on a bench - it’s coming and going. Meanwhile the floor is being cleaned and the waste bins are being emptied.

NS and ProRail are looking for innovative products, services and processes to make stations sustainable and improve the overall experience of the traveler. On the one hand, more clean and efficient use of energy, less waste and a circular supply chain - like 3D-printed packaging from recycled material, CO2-neutral traffic around the station and trash cans with extra technology for Wi-Fi and air quality monitoring. On the other hand, creating (digital) spaces where people can meet up and get in touch: in and around the train, for business or for fun. Think about a place for open group discussions, or a meeting point for a spontaneous date.

Are you the new partner of NS and ProRail?

Startups with innovative solutions can register for Green Hub until 13 October 2016. The innovations may (but aren’t required to) include a technological component (big data, internet of things, location-based services, or the quantified self). Of all the applications considered, NS, ProRail and the university incubator UtrechtInc will select eight startups for matchmaking. During an afternoon these startups start a discussion to explore the possibilities of working together. The collaboration can be an implementation after a successful test, or access to financing from the NS Innovation Fund. You could become a partner of the NS and/or ProRail, just like startup ViriCiti!

Who are we looking for?

Dutch startups with a working prototype. The solution you offer is related to:

  • - Energy: efficiency at stations (and in retail and services)  
  • - Circular economy: reduction, recycling and circular material use of waste (paper, organic, plastic)
  • - Assortment: products and packaging in retail
  • - Smart Mobility: making personal mobility and transportation systems more efficient and sustainable
  • - Services: transport to and from the station, parking, lockers, waiting spaces and waiting times, meeting each other, …

Other criteria:

  • - Projects that can test a first product or proposition in the market with NS and ProRail within a few months.
  • - Entrepreneurs with a prototype that can introduce a joint proposition in the market with NS and ProRail within a few months.
  • - Market ready: Startups with a working product, existing customers and turnover that want to enter a new market (segment) with the NS and ProRail.
  • - The startup must be registered and operating in The Netherlands.

Apply

How can you apply for Green Hub? Participating in Green Hub is a 3-step process:

Step 1: Registration

Register your startup before Thursday 13 October 2016 on www.utrechtinc.nl/greenhub. Complete your application by answering a few questions.

Step 2: Selection

After 13 October, the NS, ProRail and UtrechtInc analyze all the applications. If you’re one of the eight to ten startups selected, then in the week of 17 October you’ll receive an invitation for the matchmaking session.

Step 3: Matchmaking

On Thursday 27 October we’ll introduce you to several innovation managers from the NS and ProRail, and you’ll explore the opportunity to collaborate. To get to know each other better, you’ll spend an afternoon at UtrechtInc in conversation about your product, market and team. On the basis of this discussion, it will be considered for each startup if there’s a match and what the potential next steps are. Your startup will have the chance to implement your solution at the stations, or gain access to financing from the NS Innovation Fund.  

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About UtrechtInc

Business incubator UtrechtInc accelerates the growth of early stage (IT) startups during their first years of existence. We have created an ecosystem for startups to build innovative products, develop teams, attract funding and grow a successful business. Since 2009 we have supported and guided over 200 startups in Utrecht.

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