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Friday, March 14, 2014

Opportunities for retail & tech entrepreneurs

There’s suddenly a lot happening to support retail/tech entrepreneurs, and we thought you’d like to know about five interesting initiatives we’ve come across:-

John Lewis has launched a new incubator hub with technology entrepreneur, Stuart Marks. JLab is seeking StartUps and SMEs  that have technology and/or ideas that could improve the John Lewis in-store or online shopping experience.

5 applicants will enter JLAB for 15 weeks, competing for investment and a chance to supply John Lewis. You are offered £12,500 investment for 4% of your company and receive mentoring, workspace and talks/workshops to help you develop the idea. At the end of the 15 weeks, one company will receive £100,000 investment.

Applications now open and close on 17 April: www.jlab.co.uk

House of Fraser is the latest store to open a dedicated pop up space for new brands . Pop at HOF is offering 10 businesses the opportunity to sell their products in its Oxford Street store. Brands will be offered space on the ground floor of the store for a minimum of 2 weeks and online for 12 months. Winners will also secure mentoring and support in topics from visual merchandising to logistics and branding.

Applications are open with a deadline date of 20th March. Winners will be announced on 2nd April with the PopUp commencing in May. Apply online at:  www.thegreatretailrevival.org

IDEA London is a partnership of Cisco, UCL and DC Thomson offering a workspace and accelerator for tech companies, including retail. Snap Fashion, founded by  26 year old, Jenny Griffiths is based there, and the support she has received is helping her reach a global audience, so you’d be in good company!

Apply online at: www.idea-london.co.uk

TrueStart is a new retail and consumer innovation hub for entrepreneurs in Victoria. They are looking for ‘motivated entrepreneurs with innovative product, service or business ideas that are targeted at disrupting any aspect of the retail and consumer landscape. This could be anything including a retail technology aimed at improving the retail supply chain, data analytics for retailers, e-commerce, a social shopping platform, advertising technology, or even a new brand or consumer product.’

Hub tenants receive office and retail space, access to mentors and investment and professional services. One of the first to be accepted on their accelerator programme is THEUNSEEN design consultancy that has pioneered the fusion of science and creativity to integrate biological, chemical and electronic elements into textiles. The programme is helping them create a unique brand and design house through its own distinctive luxury products, while also helping to develop a licensing business model that will unlock opportunities to partner with leading players in the consumer sector.

Applications now open at:  www.truestart.co.uk

Start Up Loans are a lifesaver if you need some seed funding to get your idea off the ground. A Start Up Loan offers low cost, flexible loan along with FREE business mentoring. To find our more go to our Start Up Loan page.

If you hear of any others please do let us know.

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