Vix's own Aaron Ross, Managing Director Europe & Africa, has been selected to join a high-profile panel of judges for this year's Smart Transport Dragons' Den. The competition will take place on the first day of TT Global 2018, which will be held from 23-24 January at London's Old Billingsgate.
The Smart Transport Dragons' Den provides up and coming start-ups the opportunity to pitch their product to the entire public transport sector, showcasing their work to a qualified audience of senior transport operators and technology companies. With decision makers and trailblazers converging to share ideas in their collective effort to achieve a faster, easier and more efficient transit system, TT Global - one of the most important events in the industry's calendar - provides a perfect backdrop for a showcase in innovation.
Kicking off at 16:20 in Platform One on 23 January, a handful of start-ups will have the opportunity to 'test the water' with their products, pitching for five minutes to some of the most influential and qualified leaders in the public transport sector.
In what is anticipated to be an exciting and energetic format, these fledgling innovators will then have 10 minutes of intense questioning from the judges (or 'Dragons') and the audience - giving them further opportunity to stir up some early buyer interest.
Commenting on the importance of shining the light on the industry's young start-ups, Aaron said: 'Up-and-coming innovators can play a pivotal role in shaping the public transportation sector; bringing fresh perspectives and solutions to the industry, they are catalysts in our continued evolution.
'Start-ups are often able to identify challenges that are sometimes invisible to or forgotten by established organisations. Their passion and determination to find new ways of solving problems - combined with an honest, hard-working approach and infectious energy - gives them the capacity to disrupt traditional models.
'I'm excited to be joining this stellar line-up of judges and will be looking forward to finding out more about the solutions these start-ups will bring to the table. It's all about working towards one global vision of delivering a better customer journey - if they can achieve that, then they have my vote.'
Aaron will be joined on the judging panel by Andrew Anderson, Head of Transformation Portfolio, Payments - Transport for London; Tanja Kufner, Managing Director - Startupbootcamp Smart Transportation & Energy; and Fiona Walshe, Head of Passenger Experience Policy - Department for Transport.
Once all pitches have been made, the 'Dragons' will convene to cast their vote, with the results being revealed on 24 January at 17:00.
To qualify for entry, start-ups must be under £1 million in revenue, 24 months or younger, and new to the event.
Be sure to check back in to find out which innovator has scooped the Smart Transport Dragons' Den title for 2018! And to keep up to date with what's happening at TT Global, live from the show floor, follow us on Twitter @Vix_Technology.