Five retail start-ups selected for John Lewis’ tech accelerator

JLAB ccelerator run in partnership with technology entrepreneur Stuart marks

John Lewis has announced the five retail technology start-ups chosen to take part in the final stage of its JLAB technology accelerator, run in partnership with Stuart Marks and his venture fund L Marks.

The finalists were picked following a pitch day on Thursday 4 June and will now compete over the summer for the chance to win funding and a contract from John Lewis.

The five start-ups are:

  • Quidini – a cloud-based queue management system that featured in this years Startups 100.
  • Peeple – a digital peephole that sends a picture from a compact camera mounted on the front door to your smartphone when you have a caller.
  • Alfred – an app that allows consumers control over all their smart home devices through a phone, tablet or laptop.
  • Space Lounges – run by teenagers Alex Waterhouse, George Streten and James Anderson, this is an app allowing users to purchase any item in a physical location with one tap on their smartphone.
  • Ikinen – a solar powered cover for iPhone users.

Each company will receive initial funding, office space at the John Lewis head office for a 12-week period and access to John Lewis mentors. In September, a second pitch day will reveal the winner of the up to £100,000 funding prize.

The finalists were selected by a panel of John Lewis executives including Johnathan Marsh; director electrical home technology, Sarah Venning; director IT strategy, and John Vary; IT innovation manager and external JLAB mentors including Sara Murray; founder and CEO of Buddi, and Indira Thambiah, founder of Silly Point Wines.

Marks commented: “We were delighted to have so many high quality entrants to JLAB this year and again the standard of pitches was outstanding.

“It’s very hard to choose between the finalists right now, so I’ll be watching with interest to see how each finalist develops with the help of the team at John Lewis and our external mentors who like last year are all high calibre and successful entrpreneurs.”

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