FAQ –Questions you might ask

What is the Industry Collaboration event, when is it, and how do I register?

At 3pm on Friday 13 March, we’ll be hosting a collaboration event. Register here.

It’s for you to;

  • Connect with potential partners ahead of the EOI submission date
  • Pitch your capabilities and make an 'ask' regarding what you're looking for in potential partners. It’s a free, hour-long event, open to everyone. We’ll give a 10 min briefing, each representative pitches for 2 mins, then you network.
  • As mentioned, if you can help someone be data-informed and you share the mission of improving their safety at night when travelling, you might consider partnering with an implementer. In those situations, we think you’ll benefit by attending this event

What is Safety After Dark?

Safety After Dark is a Transport for NSW initiative, focusing on making women feel, and be safer when travelling on public transport in our city. Research into women’s safety revealed that girls and women do not always feel safe travelling in our city at night.

Customer safety is a core priority of Transport for NSW, and Safety After Dark intends to understand how we can make travelling on our network safer for everyone, in particular women travelling at night. Public transport use is predicted to grow, so it is crucial to ensure that our customers feel and are safe and secure when they travel.

Why is the challenge being run?

Women’s safety and mobility at night is an area ripe for innovation. It holds the potential to increase women’s participation in the city, access to employment, services and the community, as well as improving safety outcomes for all.

As a result Transport for NSW is looking to collaborate with innovators, startups and entrepreneurs who are interested in developing and trialing creative solutions to Safety After Dark challenges.

Why only women?

Everyone suffers when it’s unsafe to travel at night. We do know that women are disproportionately affected by issues of safety at night. We know there is a norm of under reporting. Access to safe and affordable public transport is an equal right for all people in NSW.

Safety After Dark projects will be aimed at improving outcomes for women and reduce instances of harassment, abuse, and unwanted behaviour. We fully expect all innovations to improve safety for everyone by doing this.

How did you land on this problem statement?

The Transport Digital Accelerator undertook extensive research - within the Transport cluster and externally - on topics around gender, safety, travelling at night, and reporting. We ran sessions with industry to understand what technologies and innovations could be applied to this area. And we spoke with ventures with a focus on safety to see if they could apply their work to this topic area.

Ultimately, globally, we did not find many solutions that appear to have improved mobility for women at night. To give ourselves the best chances of success, we know that data and insights must underpin any activity to ensure it’s a) needed and b) its’ performance can be measured.

Where do I apply?

Applications can be submitted on the eTendering website, here, through to 23 April, 2020. Information will also be shared on the Transport Digital Accelerator website.

Do businesses give up equity to participate? How much does it cost?

Applying and participating is free. Seed funding is debt and equity free.

What criteria will the judging be based on?

More information about the judging criteria and format of the challenge will be provided at the information session.  Details will also be published from Friday, 6 March 2020 on the Future Transport Accelerator website and on eTendering, through which submission will be made.

Projects are required to respond to criteria, including factors such as:

  1. Action and Alignment - Is the project aligned to the Safety After Dark project? Is action being taken?
  2. Understanding of Problem - Has the applicant explained how women travelling at night would benefit and how have women been considered in the design and delivery?
  3. Data-Informed Decision Making - How deeply has the application considered data in its’ approach?
  4. Technology and Team - Is the technology being used new, innovative, or advanced?
  5. Timeline and Stakeholders - Can the project be implemented within the allocated timeframes?
  6. Support Required - Does the project represent good value for money?

Where will the program take place?

Our preference is to support businesses in NSW. Depending on your project, you may only need to be here twice - for the ‘refine’ workshop and the pitch. You do need an Australian Business Number in order to apply.

My business isn’t based in Sydney. Can I apply?

You do need an ABN, and you’ll be expected to be in Sydney for a ‘Refine’ workshop and the Pitch event on May 1, if you’re successful.

What geographical area does the solution need to cover?

The priority is the Greater Sydney area, although solutions may be readily applicable to other geographies and contexts, such as regional transport, or target specific journeys.

Safety After Dark mentors have expertise in a specific area that they can help you with - some may have resources that will help you deliver the solution. They come from high-performing businesses or are key decision-makers in government who believe strongly in this cause. It’s an opportunity to quickly learn what other people have already figured out, understand your market better, and access support.

How does the mentoring piece work?

The mentoring component of Safety After Dark is simple

Rockstar mentors have committed to meeting you. We think of it as though we’re bringing two people who can provide real value to each other together.

Through partnership with the Accelerator, some can offer you support from their organisation. That could look like legal support, pen-testing, credits to their platforms, assistance with integration, and access to their market. More information on mentors, where they’re from, and added pieces of support they can provide will be updated when mentors are announced.

I have an idea, but I haven’t developed it yet. Should I apply?

If you a) clearly address the problem we’ve put forward and b) you are capable of delivering your idea, you should apply.

Note that we do not provide funding for research, startup development or commercialisation of research. Other grant and assistance programs may help you develop or commercialise your ideas.

What is the typical size of businesses that would pitch?

The size of a business is less important than their ability to demonstrate an understanding of a problem and propose a solution that they are capable of delivering. We typically receive applications from startups with good ideas and big business alike.

How are you approaching the different modes (i.e. bus, train, etc.) in this challenge. What is in scope?

We are looking for the best solutions to the problem statement. If you have a great idea for any mode - apply.

The Transport Digital Accelerator has relationships with the various operations teams already, as well as many local councils for potential first and last mile projects.

What is the typical size of businesses that would pitch?

The size of a business is less important than their ability to demonstrate an understanding of a problem and propose a solution that they are capable of delivering. We typically receive applications from startups with good ideas and big business alike.

Who will I be pitching to if I’m successful?

A panel of industry leaders and decision-makers in government.

The pitch will be open to the public. We are keen for solutions that scale across councils, states, and countries. So we’ll bring along potential customers for you to the pitch event.

Ahead of the event, we’ll tell you the judges, criteria, and format. We will also give you guidance on your pitch.

Is there funding available? How much?

Seed funding is available. We don’t tend to advertise the pool of funds available so-as not to guide your request for funding. Put simply, if a good idea comes up, we’re open to it.

Some applicants may elect to request no funding but access to data, other Transport assets, or market exposure, instead. The package of support for successful applicants also includes bespoke masterclasses, introductions to potential customers, and a mentoring program.

Engagement from Transport for NSW beyond this trial is at the discretion of problem owners, though the relevant teams will be engaged in the refine phase. That means you’ll quickly be able to understand their appetite.

What is the Transport Digital Accelerator?

Transport for NSW are the architects of the first Government Transport accelerator model. The Transport Digital Accelerator facilitates direct collaboration between the public and private sectors, connecting teams from the NSW Transport cluster with industry, researchers, entrepreneurs and start-ups in the digital space.

The team brings together design thinking and agile approaches to address complex customer challenges. The aim is to support and fast-track the Future Transport Technology Roadmap series of initiatives designed to practically enhance the way Transport customers interact with services.

Who can participate in the Innovation Challenge?

We welcome all submissions of viable options for Safety After Dark solutions. It is expected that teams are incorporated and are able to engage in legal and/or commercial terms with Transport for NSW.

Employees and the immediate families of employees of the Transport for NSW cluster - including Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains - are not eligible to enter the innovation challenge competition.

Where can I get more information about Safety After Dark? Will TfNSW release data to help inform projects?

Check out our resources section

What data can I use to develop my solution?

The use of open data is strongly encouraged. Our TfNSW Open Data Hub has more than 100 datasets available for you to use. Visit the Open Data Hub for more information

Other data sources you may wish to use are www.data.gov.au and data.nsw.gov.au

Can I submit multiple ideas?

Yes! You may submit multiple applications. A separate application must be submitted for each idea.

How old do I have to be to participate?

You need to be at least 18 or have the written consent of your parent or guardian if you’d like to apply.