John Lewis names the retail start-ups joining its 2016 JLAB accelerator

Five businesses will now participate in the brand's 12-week programme with chance to win £100,000 in funding and work in collaboration with the store

John Lewis has announced the five retail technology start-ups selected to take part in its 2016 JLAB accelerator programme, which launched in April.

Now in its third year, the programme supports companies developing tech-based solutions that look to disrupt the retail space across six categories such as health and wellbeing, ‘tech for kids’, and ‘effortless shopping’.

The five start-ups beat competition from 280 other applicants to receive a spot on the 12-week JLAB programme which will run from 4 July to 23 September.

As well as the opportunity to secure up to £100,000 funding from John Lewis and its partner L Marks, the new accelerator members will work within the retailer’s head office as they develop their products alongside mentors.

The five start-ups are:

  • DigitalBridge – Computer vision and machine learning technology that allows customers to visualise new home furnishings
  • Ding Labs – A doorbell that enables homeowners to talk to the person at their front door from anywhere in the world
  • Link Big – Turns Instagram into a social checkout by allowing customers to buy products through their Instagram feed
  • Robotical (founder pictured) – Developers of a fully programmable, customisable walking robot to help kids learn about coding, 3D printing and robotics
  • Wedding Planner – Helps brides and grooms plan their wedding from their phone and online

Paul Coby, IT director at John Lewis, said: “From programmable robotics to advanced visualisation, our finalists are locked into some of the most exciting growth areas in modern retail.

“John Lewis aims to be at the forefront of innovation, and JLAB is how we engage with the vibrant UK start up scene.”

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