Tech start ups: putting money where your mouth is

Start-ups' technology can give a firm a competitive edge. Does this mean companies should fund new ventures themselves?

BT's process for Brightstar was, though, rather different to the idea behind JLAB. BT had technologies it was developing for internal use, and wanted to spin those out, to attract a wider market and more investment. John Lewis, though, is looking for ideas from outside its business.

It is perhaps less well known as a hive of technology innovation. That, though, is slightly unfair. Despite the floor space given to haberdashery, or old-school favourites such as Brasso (is John Lewis the only place that now sells it?) the retailer is, in some ways, quite cutting edge.

The fact that such a well-known retailer is looking to invest in technology is good for the UK's start-up scene. But it also illustrates the relative lack of funding for start-up businesses in the UK. In a mature market for start ups, companies with ideas good enough for a national retailer should be able to find funding independently.

It also suggests that John Lewis feels the sector needs a boost and perhaps a nudge towards thinking of retail, rather than, say, consumer-entertainment apps.

And its investment, initially at least, is modest. But if a modest investment in a technology can help to realise an idea, it may be something that other firms, in other industries, could try too.

Stephen Pritchard is a contributing editor at IT Pro. 

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

The IT Pro Podcast: 100 years of innovation
Technology

The IT Pro Podcast: 100 years of innovation

1 Oct 2021
Auto sector could lose $210 billion this year due to chip shortages
Hardware

Auto sector could lose $210 billion this year due to chip shortages

24 Sep 2021
UK tech startups to watch in 2021
startups

UK tech startups to watch in 2021

18 Jun 2021
How Brexit fuelled Lithuania’s ambitions to become Europe’s fintech capital
Business strategy

How Brexit fuelled Lithuania’s ambitions to become Europe’s fintech capital

31 May 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021