Final call for UK retail tech start-ups to enter JLAB 2017

Apply before midnight Sunday 30 April to be in with a chance of accessing free workspace, business support and up to £100,000 in funding

John Lewis and Waitrose have issued a final call for retail technology start-ups to enter its JLAB retail accelerator before the deadline at midnight on Sunday 30 April.

Five to 10 finalists will be selected to join the 12-week programme and receive free workspace at the John Lewis or Waitrose headquarters, access to resources and growth support and the chance to apply for equity funding of up to £100,000 from a £200,000 pot.

JLAB said this year’s accelerator has seen a record number of entries from across the globe and is looking for start-ups developing ideas in the following areas:

  • Amazing Food Experiences –  enhance the experience of food shopping and food service in store for customers
  • Amazing Store Experiences – start-ups looking for ways to make in store experiences more “inspiring and individual”
  • Effortless Shopping – solutions that create frictionless on and offline shopping for customers; improving the shopping experience and saving customers time.
  • Help Me Live a Healthier Life – innovative health and wellbeing solutions to be implemented across online channels and in store to improve customer health
  • Smarter Supply Chain – innovative ideas, or solutions that disrupt traditional supply chain practices, from last mile deliveries and farm to fork traceability to smart product IDs and Internet of Things.
  • Surprise us – “innovations that are so out of this world they can’t be classified”

John Vary, John Lewis Partnership innovation manager, said: “We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest in JLAB 2017 and the diversity of companies has been truly remarkable. This is the first year that John Lewis and Waitrose have joined forces to launch this programme, and it’s a collaboration that has clearly resonated with startup communities around the world.

“This level of access to two leading retailers represents an unprecedented opportunity, and I’d strongly encourage entrepreneurs working in disruptive retail and food technology to get their applications in as soon as possible.”


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