New start-up accelerator launched by DPD and L Marks

Last Mile Labs to offer over £100,000 funding to innovations which revolutionise Britain’s “struggling” parcel delivery industry

UK parcel delivery provider DPD and technology investment fund L Marks today called for applicants for their new start-up accelerator which will invest in technologies to help secure the future of the delivery industry.

The accelerator, Last Mile Labs, will select 10 early and growth stage start-ups for an eight-week programme in April.

Successful teams will each receive £12,500 in initial funding and access to £100,000 long-term funding, as well access to DPD data and mentoring from industry entrepreneurs.

Following the collapse of City link and widespread delays over Christmas that left many consumers disappointed, DPD claims parcel delivery companies are under tremendous pressure to modernise and meet the demands of booming UK online retail sales.

DPD and L Marks are seeking innovations from start-ups in the following categories:

  • Doorstep Smiles – develop the world’s best final mile delivery experience that enhances DPD’s reputation as the UK’s favourite and most innovative carrier
  • Closely Connected – using the parcel receiver’s data, develop an interactive interface that allows the DPD driver and receiver to communicate in real time
  • Operational Efficiency – using historic and current delivery data plus predictive trend partners to identify cost savings and efficiency
  • Wild Card – any innovative product or solution that enhances last mile delivery experience and which isn’t covered in the other categories

DPD CEO, Dwain McDonald, said: “Technology is so important to DPD. We have a big technology team, but often it’s full up replacing the new lights on the old engine. That’s not good enough now.

“We need fresh thinking and new people. That’s what’s so exciting for me, and why Last Mile Labs is so refreshing. If it means we innovate faster, customers like it, we retain our customer base and a competitive advantage on all other parcel carriers – great result.”

Chairman of L Marks, Stuart Marks, added:

“We’re not looking for qualifications or creating hoops to jump through. Last Mile Labs is open to anybody who has a great idea. If you have a solution that can save money, drive efficiencies, enhance the customer experience, or maybe something that we haven’t thought about that can take this business to the next level, then we want to hear from you.”

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