Retail solutions for small spaces

Deutsche Bahn is looking for use cases in the area of retail for small spaces, think small areas in the station building or even tiny spaces on the platform. And not only on any train station, but on our most crowded ones. A strong increase in the number of passengers moving through the stations to board the train (and vice versa) can be assumed, especially for specific stations. In this context, it is becoming increasingly important that the platform area must be usable for passenger flows and that walkways for passengers are not impeded by obstacles. These aspects have to be taken into account in the concepts for the smallest areas, for which we’re looking for solutions.

The challenge is that Deutsche Bahn already has a lot of basic technology in place. Details on already existing solutions as well as areas of interest can be found in the sections below.

This 100 day signature program gives startups the chance to customize and live-test their solution to real challenges that DB is facing. What is in for you?

  • Access to DB experts and data
  • The opportunity to test your solution at a real, capacity-critical station during the DB mindbox program – rent-free!
  • Access to a network of selected coaching and mentoring experts
  • EUR 25,000, no equity taken.

You will be supported by a dedicated DB mindbox startup manager and will have 24/7 access to our coworking space.

This is a great opportunity to lay the foundation for joint projects and successful long-term collaboration with Deutsche Bahn AG, Europe’s largest mobility and infrastructure provider.

Questions? Check out our FAQs.



DB already has a lot of solutions in place, so we’re looking for startups and their ideas on how to enhance the customer experience even further. A summary of already existing solutions can be found below.

Details on the mentioned solutions that are already in place can be found here.

©DB AG / farbfilm media
Autonomous Stores

Regular unmanned stores using self-scanning checkout or grab&go technology are already piloted at DB. You have a special idea with a twist? Let's talk!

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Max Lautenschläger
Vending Machines

Modern vending machines are already widely rolled out. We're therefore looking for solutions, that offer additional services compared to the classic vending machine.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang
Smart Locker

Smart Lockers are also already implemented, by DB itself as well as in form of cooperation with Packstation.


What we're looking for

When we say “Retail solutions for small spaces” we don’t necessarily mean that the solution has to be smaller than a specific number of sqm. The focus is more on the space needed in comparison with the service provided.

We’re eager to have you on board if you have ideas and solutions that require a relatively small area (or even none) for the service that is provided. Plus: the service offered should meet everyday needs of travelers – leisure travelers as well as daily commuters.

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© Deutsche Bahn AG / Christian Bedeschinski
Solutions for the station building

We have small retail areas available in the station buildings of selected train stations. You have a solution or idea to make the most out of them, taking the upper information into account? We're eager to lean more.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Christian Bedeschinski
Solutions for the platform

Not only the classic station buildings, but also the individual platforms offer the chance to implement clever retail solutions within small to tiny areas. The goal is to offer our passengers options to buy items on their way to the train or in between trains.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang
Click & Collect and delivery to the platform

Train stations are start and end of a longer journey or a daily commute or can be a stopover while changing trains. To offer our passengers a click&collect option or even a delivery to a specific platform for the most relevant goods is an important goal. You offer a product or technology to make this happen or are happy to cover the background processes? Let's talk!

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Max Lautenschläger
Daypart management

At different times of the day there are often different needs: in the morning it may be coffee, in the evening the need for grocery products to take home. Do you have a clever idea to meet the different needs at different times in the day, using the same space?



Application Deadline

Last day to apply for the program


Announcement of Candidates

Invitation of selected teams


Selection Day

Pitch your idea on stage to a jury and audience


Preparation Phase (tbc)

Get everything ready for the upcoming test phase


Start of Program (tbc)

Start of the 100 day PoC phase to test a prototype in cooperation with DB


End of Program (tbc)

End of 100 day PoC and presentation of results