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John Lewis joins with Waitrose for new JLAB

By Retail Technology | Monday March 27 2017

The John Lewis Partnership is calling for applications for its JLAB 2018 start-up accelerator programme which this year includes Waitrose

The addition of Waitrose creates the UK’s largest retail tech accelerator and widens  the growth opportunities for companies with disruptive retail tech ideas.

The programme – in association with innovation specialist L Marks - was set up in 2014 to help talented tech start-ups fast track their growth by giving them access to John Lewis’s resources and industry-leading insight, as well as the opportunity to apply for funding in exchange for equity. 

It allows, John Lewis Partnership to tap into emerging innovation in retail which will benefit their customers and forge long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with young tech companies.

Support

This year five to ten successful applicants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves across both the John Lewis and Waitrose businesses. Throughout the twelve-week
programme, which commences in July, they will receive support from senior level mentors and free workspace in John Lewis’s head office in Victoria and Waitrose’s head office in Bracknell.

Each team will be eligible to apply for funding of up to £100,000 from the total pot of £200,000, in exchange for equity in their company.

Paul Coby, CIO for John Lewis Partnership, said: “Waitrose’s involvement in JLAB means we can now provide start-ups with unprecedented access to two of the UK’s leading retailers and ensure we add value to these fledgling companies, in the same spirit of cooperation the John Lewis Partnership was founded on.”

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