Appear Here is giving unique retail start-ups the chance to win rent-free shop space

Space for Ideas winners will also bag £3,000 to spend on their business, £8,000 in design services, and mentoring from the contest's big-name judges

Appear Here – the Young Gun-founded marketplace enabling businesses to find and rent short-term retail space – has launched its second Space for Ideas competition, which aims to boost retail business ideas with bags of potential.

Run in partnership with Square, Space for Ideas gives retail-focused entrepreneurs the opportunity to bring their ideas to life, with three winning entrants each receiving a two-week, rent-free flagship store in London, Paris or New York.

In addition to this, winners will each be given up to £8,000 in design services as well as a further £3,000 to spend. They will also be offered mentoring sessions with industry experts competition partners and judges.

This year’s judging panel is made up of prominent names in fashion and commerce including Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet, Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal, Soho House founder Nick Jones, and AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed.

Read more: How to set up a pop-up shop in four simple steps

According to Appear Here, which scooped two top prizes at the 2015 Startups Awards, Space for Ideas aims to help entrepreneurs overcome the barriers of expensive store rental and difficulty in raising funds by giving them “the leg up they need to get started”.

The competition first ran in 2015, with start-ups Porterlight Bicycles, Run&Fell and Wonderluk crowned as winners.

Over the past couple of years, Startups.co.uk has worked with Sage and Appear Here to offer emerging start-ups the opportunity to win their own pop-up shop for a week in iconic central London locations including Old Street and Piccadilly Station.

The successful #startupspopup campaign has enabled new businesses to attract hordes of customers and generate leads, while the campaign itself won the bronze award for Editorial Campaign of the Year at the British Media Awards 2017.

On Space for Ideas, founder and CEO at Appear Here Ross Bailey commented: “We’re looking for people who can create something truly unique in their space.

“When you think about brands like Paul Smith that have managed to build global empires off the back of a market stall, or even Appear Here’s own conception, which was sparked off the back of a small shop for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it’s exciting to see what Space for Ideas can achieve by connecting these ideas to spaces in the world’s best cities.”

Enter the Space for Ideas competition here. Applications close at midnight on Friday 15 September 2017, with winning start-ups going on to gain retail space from 18 October until 1 November.

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