CAF Group is an international leader in designing and building integrated mobility systems. More than a century dedicated to supplying comprehensive transit solutions positioned at the forefront of technology for high value added sustainable mobility. CAF’s core operating areas are design, manufacturing, and maintenance.

The company is a leader of the railway industry offering one of the most comprehensive and flexible arrays of products in railway related markets, such as rolling stock, components, infrastructure, signalling and services (maintenance, refurbishing, project finance, digital services, etc.).

It is also one of the leading European bus and trolleybus manufacturers through its subsidiary Solaris Bus & Coach.

CAF Group has its Headquarters at Beasain (Spain), the company’s birthplace. It comprises over 100 companies and more than 13.000 employees worldwide, committed to enhance customer satisfaction and create value for our shareholders.

CAF Startup Station is the Venture Client unit of CAF – a leader in the future mobility industry. CAF Startup Station is part of the CAF Group.

In a standardized process, CAF Startup Station supports startups with integrating and validating their product, service or technology in a real CAF use case. We also support CAF teams looking to purchase the startup’s solution in testing how well the product and team fit the requirements, which orchestrates the decision process which follows. After a successful pilot, this can result in various forms of partnerships, including but not limited to supplier-buyer relationships / JDA.

CAF Startup Station functions as an independent third party that keeps all information disclosed confidential. Startups retain their IP, gain CAF as a client and validate their solution in a real setting, while their partners at CAF become early adopters of high-potential technology.

CAF Startup Station is the Venture Client unit of CAF. This means CAF becomes a startup’s client when it is still in the venture stage, because the solution and company are not yet as mature and stable as incumbent partners. We buy a first unit of a startup’s product, service, or technology; we do not invest. Through this relationship, startups obtain supplier status and receive a supplier number, a purchase order, and revenue.

Working with CAF Startup Station is a great step for a startup toward succeeding in the global, railway and bus industry. Our model involves a no-strings-attached partnership to integrate and validate a startup’s product, service, or technology, as well as a beneficial pairing of entrepreneurs with top engineers and managers. We do not invest, i.e. we do not ask for shares or equity.

CAF Startup Station focuses on startups that help the CAF organization to solve critical challenges across all business areas and functions.

1. Relevance
Your solution (product, service or technology) has a compelling use case to solve a critical challenge at any CAF business division: R&D, services, manufacturing, IT, sales & marketing, HR…

2. Product maturity
Your startup has a functional prototype or working product. Prototypes must be mature enough to be tested in a CAF division.

3. Funding status
Your startup has graduated from an equity accelerator or has funding from a professional venture capitalist.

4. Full-time team
The main positions (CEO, CTO, CMO, etc.) in your startup are held by full-time employees.

5. Legal entity
Your startup must be a legal entity.

  • First contact – To start the process with CAF Startup Station, which means becoming a supplier of CAF, just send us information about your company. We are looking for companies that can help us solve critical challenges for any business division of CAF. Make sure to send us your product and company deck. In this way we can find you again once a suitable opportunity arises, or connect you directly with a CAF business unit that has been searching for the solution you offer.
  • Initialization – In the beginning, our focus is on clarifying the current need of a CAF business unit. We want to understand the underlying problem and motivation for a partnership. Subsequently, your CAF Startup Station manager assesses the potential benefits for everyone involved as well as partnership readiness.
  • Screen & Connect – From a CAF point of view, we screen the market at this stage, after which we create a longlist of potential partners and narrow it down to a shortlist together with the CAF business unit. If you are on our shortlist, we then invite you for a demo meeting to discuss your solution in greater depth. You retain your IP by signing an NDA with us and your potential client at CAF. Next, we send you a request for proposal. Here we specify a pilot project / proof of concept in which we want to apply and validate your solution. A project could be to integrate a prototype of your technology into a new CAF product or service, into CAF’s IT environment, or to run a pilot for a new manufacturing solution. We will ask you to review and fine-tune your proposal. Once agreement has been reached, we can start the project. Prior to the pilot kicking off, you will receive an official CAF supplier number and a signed purchase order. Congratulations – you just gained CAF as your client.
  • Proof of Concept – You and the CAF business unit will stay in close contact during the pilot to apply and validate your solution. In this phase, your CAF Startup Station manager will supervise the project and provide support for any non-technical challenges that may arise.
  • Partnership – You and your client at CAF agree that the pilot was a success? Great! Now we can negotiate the exact structure of your partnership with CAF. This can result in various forms of partnerships, including but not limited to supplier-buyer relationships / JDA. As your Venture Client unit, CAF Startup Station will conduct regular follow-up meetings to make sure that your partnership has maximum business impact.
  • Timing – The whole onboarding process can be as short as four weeks.
  • Deadline – There is no deadline. We are always interested to learn about exciting solutions from startups.

No, we are a Venture Client for leading startups.

As a Venture Client, we focus on validating startups’ solutions, helping them learn about the future mobility industry, and connecting them with decision makers for business development. Startups work directly with our engineers and managers on real business projects. They get a supplier number and purchase order, and they invoice us for their work and expenses.

In contrast, accelerators help entrepreneurs get their businesses started, for instance by building first prototypes and business models, establishing a legal structure, identifying target clients, and raising seed funding.

We are always looking for great startups. We have no deadlines.

Please leave information about your startup here.

There is no deadline.

  • Sell – Your main task is to adapt your solution to our use case for validation. We mutually agree on this before the start of the project. CAF Startup Station reimburses you for your efforts and expenses.
  • Gain insights – You achieve deep insights into CAF – a global, industrial leader. We teach you the industry dynamics and how development, manufacturing, and purchasing work.
  • Land and Expand – Together we create a compelling roadmap to make sure your solution can be applied and scaled throughout CAF. You are linked to key people who help you grow your business within various CAF business units.

After the successful validation of your solution, CAF aims to become a long-term partner of your startup.

Usually, your solution has to be developed further following the pilot project before it can be applied. You will negotiate further development and supplier agreements directly with your client business unit and our purchasing department. These negotiations will ideally start during the pilot project.

If applicable, we connect you with our established suppliers for industrialization.

CAF Startup Station becomes an early client, not your shareholder. Once you join, you will receive a supplier number and a purchase order.

You will receive payment for the pilot. How much we pay depends on the complexity of the pilot project.

All costs related to the integration and validation of your solution are covered. This includes materials, travel, working hours, etc. You can propose a budget based on our requirements.


We are in Beasain because that is where CAF’s global headquarters is located. This is where all key decisions are taken, such as whether to apply and roll out your solution globally.

You do not have to relocate your company to Beasain. However, members of your team will need to travel to Beasain for meetings, adaptation work, networking and to learn about the future mobility industry.

Win CAF as your Venture Client!

We want to partner with top startups like yours!
Questions? Please see our FAQ.