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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

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 essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/business-strategy/digital-transformation/354201/boston-dynamics-dog-like-robots-sniff-out-bombs-for
digital transformation

Boston Dynamics dog-like robots sniff out bombs for Massachusetts police

26 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/google-android/354189/samsung-galaxy-a90-5g-review-simply-the-best-value-5g-phone
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/354222/samsung-sails-past-apples-market-share-despite-smartphone-market-slump
Mobile Phones

Samsung sails past Apple's market share despite smartphone market slump

28 Nov 2019
Visit/business-strategy/mergers-and-acquisitions/354191/xerox-to-pursue-hostile-hp-takeover-after-30bn
mergers and acquisitions

Xerox to pursue hostile HP takeover after $30bn gambit fails

28 Nov 2018