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John Lewis announces first judges for this year's JLAB

With just three days remaining until applications close for the John Lewis startup accelerator programme JLAB 2016, the retailer has announced details of the first two judges and mentors for the programme.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

John Lewis announces first judges for this year's JLAB

Kirstin Smith, head of retail at Valtech, will act as mentor and judge for the ‘effortless shopping’ category while Bethany Koby, chief executive and founder of ‘Tech Will Save Us’, has been selected as mentor and judge for the ‘Tech for Kids’ category.

Run in association with innovation partner L Marks, JLAB fast-tracks the growth of start ups in the retail space, providing participants with 12 weeks of in-house mentorship, commercial insights, and access to investment.

Paul Coby, IT director at John Lewis, said: “One of the unique characteristics of the JLAB programme is the breadth and depth of industry knowledge that our participants are given access to. We pair our mentors’ speciality areas of expertise with participants’ growth objectives, and start ups benefit hugely from tapping into this commercial insight.”

Applications for this year’s prgramem close at midnight on 8 May. John Lewis and L Marks will then select up to five startups to complete the programme which begins in July 2016. The overall winner will be announced at a showcase event in September.

 

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