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Union Pacific Taps Into Plug and Play to Drive Freight Innovation
Nebraska Ag Connection - 12/04/2017

The world's largest publicly traded freight railroad, Union Pacific, is tapping into Silicon Valley to drive freight transportation innovation by partnering with Plug and Play, the world's largest startup accelerator and innovation center.

As an accelerator, Plug and Play helps existing start-up companies grow with a combination of seed money, mentoring and connections to large companies in relevant industries interested in investing in their ideas.

Union Pacific is an anchor partner in Plug and Play's Supply Chain Innovation Platform. Union Pacific participates in pitches from startup companies and votes on pitches the railroad believes can deliver the most positive impacts. The winning startups collaborate with Union Pacific on those projects.

"Our transportation solutions help our customers compete in the global marketplace," said Beth Whited, Union Pacific executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "One of the main reasons Union Pacific continues to thrive after 155 years in business is because we are at the leading edge of innovation. Partnering with Plug and Play will help us remain at that forefront."

Plug and Play presented Union Pacific with a Corporate Innovation Award at its fall summit. Union Pacific was recognized for being an innovative and engaged partner adding collaborative value to the Plug and Play ecosystem.

"Union Pacific's participation in our Innovation Platform has enriched startups and other corporate partners' experience," said Farzin Shadpour, vice president and managing director of Plug and Play, Supply Chain. "By collaborating with the startups and other corporate partners on technology initiatives, Union Pacific is able to select the best that startups have to offer to grow and lead in the 21st century."

Plug and Play and Union Pacific, along with the ecosystem's partners will soon select a second group of startups for the Supply Chain program.

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