John Lewis kicks off accelerator programme with five start-ups

The retailer will host the five companies at its offices for 10 weeks

John Lewis has chosen the five start-ups from 280 submissions to take part in its own accelerator programme, JLAB 2016.

The successful start-ups DigitalBridge, Ding Labs, Link Big, Robotical and Wedding Planner will spend 10 weeks at John Lewis's head office, and 12 weeks as part of the accelerator, starting on 4 July.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The entrepreneurs will gain insight into the retailer's business operations, while senior staff from the firm and other experts will act as mentors.

At the end of the ten weeks, the start-ups can pitch John Lewis and investment fund L Marks, which is running the programme in association with the retailer, for up to 100,000 (out of a pot of 200,000) in funding in exchange for equity.

Paul Coby, IT director at John Lewis, said: "From programmable robotics to advanced visualisation, our finalists are locked into some of the most exciting growth areas in modern retail. John Lewis aims to be at the forefront of innovation, and JLAB is how we engage with the vibrant UK start-up scene.

"The next twelve weeks will be a great period of development for the finalists, as they rapidly hone their products under guidance from John Lewis mentors and industry experts. I can't wait to see what the final outcome will be."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The start-ups all fall into five categories Health and Wellbeing, Simplify My Life, Effortless Shopping, Tech for Kids, and Surprise Us.

Digital Bridge is a visualisation tool that allows users to see furniture in their homes before buying, relying on computer vision and machine learning technology. Robotical wants to help children learn about coding, 3D printing and robotics using Marty the Robot, a fully customisable walking robot.

Ding Labs has created a doorbell that allows homeowners to speak to the person who rings it from anywhere in the world, and Link Big wants to allow Instagram users to buy products featured in their feeds. Wedding Planner will help brides and grooms to-be to plan their weddings online.

"JLAB is a proven example of successful collaboration between large and small business," said Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur and chairman of L Marks. "The start-ups will have unprecedented access to John Lewis's retail expertise, working together to exchange ideas and create a product or service that has a real commercial application.

"John Lewis in turn can attract the brightest retail start-ups and maintain a nimble approach to innovation. We've enjoyed strong results with JLAB so far and are confident that this will be continued with this year's finalists."

Picture: Robotical's Marty the Robot

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/business/policy-legislation/355775/us-rep-bill-johnson-introduces-the-advancing-tech-startups-act
Policy & legislation

US Rep. Bill Johnson introduces the Advancing Tech Startups Act

22 May 2020

Most Popular

Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/cloud/356260/the-road-to-recovery
Sponsored

The road to recovery

30 Jun 2020
Visit/business-strategy/it-infrastructure/356258/the-growing-case-for-it-flexibility
Sponsored

The growing case for IT flexibility

30 Jun 2020