John Lewis announces five finalists for JLAB technology incubator
The retailer said the businesses, which were selected following a pitch day on 20 May, represent a range of innovative ideas which have the potential to shape the shopping experience of the future.
The five start-up companies will now be given dedicated office space at JLAB's London hub, initial funding of £12,500, access to John Lewis proprietary technology, and access to the retailer’s full mentor panel, which includes experts such as Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners, and Sarah Murray OBE, founder of confused.com, together with a range of John Lewis leaders.
JLAB will be situated in the retailer's Level 39's High Growth Space on the 42nd floor of Canary Wharf's iconic One Canada Square building.
Following a 12-week incubation period, the JLAB panel will select a winning company which will receive up to £100,000 in further investment and the chance to trial their idea in-store.
Paul Coby, IT director at John Lewis, said: “Innovation is at the heart of John Lewis Partnership's DNA, in our 150th year I am delighted that we will be working with some of the best technology innovators to develop better products and better customer service. We're confident that the JLAB finalists each have an idea with real potential to either improve the shopping experience or offer customers something new to use in the home. I really feel that if our Founder Spedan Lewis were alive today he would be starting a tech incubator.”
Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur and partner in JLAB, added: “We were very pleased with the quality of companies that attended the pitch day. We are certain that the companies that we have selected will thrive at JLAB over the summer and benefit from the exceptional mentoring team and access to the John Lewis business. Every company has the potential to win and it will be exciting to watch how they develop.”
The five JLAB finalists are:
- Localz, in-store digital engagement
- Musaic, wireless sound system for smart homes
- SpaceDesigned, online 3D room planning
- Tap2Connect, smart labelling for after-sales care
- Viewsy, in-store digital engagement
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