We believe that one brilliant idea has the potential to improve a billion passenger journeys. These ideas come from customers experiencing real day-to-day problems, frontline staff on stations, buses and trains and also smaller, leaner companies who spot the pain points and can act on them quickly. We want to work with all of these groups to help reinvent the future of transport for everyone.

This is why we’ve created The Billion Journey Project. Our aim is to work with a number of innovative tech startups and scale-ups who's product can drive improvement across the whole multi-modal rail & bus sector and have the chance of improving a billion passenger journeys. By providing them with the expert mentoring and the support they need to implement and ingratiate their business into the rail & bus industry.

Our 12 week programme gives us the chance to collaborate, share and work with some of the brightest minds in UK innovation.

Alongside the benefits you get from most scale-up accelerator programmes, we also want to introduce you to key stakeholders in the rail & bus industry to provide quick product validation and access to customers and potential partnerships and a view behind the scenes of the industry.

Billion Journey Project Rail Innovation Future of Mobility



We have created a 12 week scale-up proof of concept programme, complete with free access to mentoring and events, to help develop your product to work at scale across the transport industry.


Access to regional Go-Ahead operating company buses and data, and mentorship from senior management, engineers and marketing teams. Trips to bus depots and the chance to test real-time pilots.


During the program you will have the chance to interact and collaborate with real Go-Ahead Group customers, allowing you to see how your product can best improve their customer experience.


The Billion Journey Project gives scalable start-ups a behind the scenes look inside the transport industry and access to potential partnerships to help you develop your product for industry.


Access to GTR’s 3500 trains and data, and mentorship from senior management, engineers and marketing teams. Trips to rail depots and the chance to test real-time pilots.


Validate your product assumptions through conversations with key industry stakeholders, to get to grips with the procurement process and understand how your product would work at scale across bus and rail.

Billion Journey Project Demo Day

Who Should Apply to the programme?

Innovation Co-Working Startup

We want to make sure that you are able to fully benefit from this proof of concept programme. If you think you align with the Go-Ahead ambition for innovation and have a product or service you feel could enhance the passenger experience on rail and bus then we want to hear from you.

1. Established Scale-Up in the transport/mobility sector.
2. You have more than an idea; preferably initial investment and an active product.
3. Areas of interest include (but are not limited to): booking, on-board commerce, advertising, customer service, the end-to-end customer experience, CRM and loyalty, real-time communications, content, infrastructure innovation and operational efficiency.
4. Or you have a product out of category/industry that you feel could pivot to help improve passenger journeys on rail, bus or both.
5. You could benefit from partnership/distribution opportunities with Go-Ahead - you want to understand how your product could work at scale.
6. You're motivated, eager to learn and collaborate in the programme.


Are there any entry criteria for the Billion Journey Project?

The only hard criteria we have is that you must be able to live and work in the UK for the duration of the programme. However, we’d prefer you to be an early-stage startup with a minimum viable product for the transport sector or a scale-up with a product ready to pivot into the industry.

How will you evaluate the applications?

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges from Go-Ahead Group and Co:Cubed. They key judging criteria will be; how much the Billion Journey Project can help you, to what extent your business aligns with the challenges of the industry.

Who is behind the programme?

This accelerator programme is an initiative from the Go-Ahead Group, in partnership with corporate startup collaborators Co:Cubed. Co:Cubed specialise in helping corporates harness the power of the startup revolution to stay ahead of the game, working with Techstars, Founders Intelligence and CrowdCube.

What information do you need from me in my application?

We’ve tried to keep our application form down to the essentials; we just want to know a bit about who you are, what problem you are solving and how you intend to do that, and what support you think you need from the programme.

Do you take equity?

No. Participation in the programme is free for selected startups and no equity will be taken.

Is this a full-time accelerator programme?

No. Although you are welcome to use the office space 24/7, it is not a requirement. If you agree to participate in the programme, you will be asked to attend any mentoring sessions organised (approximately once per week, all pre-scheduled), take part in a weekly catch-up meeting or call, and participate in the Demo Day event. We understand that running your startup takes priority, and we’ll schedule the programme accordingly.

Who has taken part in the Billion Journey Project before?

This is a new incentive from the Go-Ahead group, however under it’s initial iteration under London Midland Labs, 21 varied start-ups and scale-ups came through 2 cohorts across 2017. Many of these have gone on to work with several Train Operating Companies and won contracts throughout the industry.


If selected, you’ll be invited to take part an exclusive 12 week programme. Exact dates are to be confirmed.


November 1

Applications Open

End November

Selection, Pitch Day and On-Boarding

December 2019 - February 2020

12 Week Programme Runs

March 2020

12 week programme ends

Summer 2020

Cohort 3 demo day and programme winner announced


If you would like to be part of the Billion Journey Project and have a solution that could be deployed across Go-Ahead and it’s Operators we would like to hear from you.

Please email Mark Anderson: [email protected]