WhipCar will receive a $10,000 business development grant, as well as the potential of a longer-term partnership with Castrol.
The five shortlisted companies, selected from an original 500, presented their ideas to a panel including executives from Castrol, IBM, London Bridge Capital, Wellington Partners Venture Capital and Innovation Partners following an intensive two day event that took place at the new Google Campus in London.
As well as presenting their ideas, the shortlisted companies received mentoring from a range of experts to help hone their business plans and pitch skills before they made their final presentations.
The mentoring was provided by business experts across a range of industries and offered guidance and training in product development, global distribution, research and development and marketing.
The 20/20 Challenge marks the first step in Castrol’s commitment towards investing a significant amount of money and development work in pioneering technology over the next five years. The company will use the strength of its brand to forge new relationships and uncover the technologies of the future.
Said Roy Williamson head of Castrol innoVentures: “Congratulations from all of the team at Castrol to WhipCar. All of the shortlisted companies presented impressive and innovative ideas, but in the end WhipCar just shaded it. The judging panel felt that WhipCar’s use of a flexible direct-to-peer car share concept was something that Castrol is well placed to bring to life. We’re all looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership with WhipCar.”
Speaking immediately following the announcement, WhipCar founders Tom Wright and Vinay Gupta said: “To win against competition of this calibre is something we are really proud of, and we’re genuinely surprised.
“The conversations we’ve had over the last two days are a testament to what the organisers have done here, but the prize money is the icing on the cake.
“We came here looking for strategic partnerships, so we can’t wait to sit down with Castrol to talk about the ways we can work together.”