Into the JLAB
UK retailer John Lewis has launched the latest iteration of JLAB, its start-up accelerator run together with technology investment fund L Marks. Under the initiative, JLAB will provide funding and office space to up to 10 start-ups, with one getting a contract to trial its solution in John Lewis stores, as well as up to £100,000 in additional investment.
John Lewis has developed a number of categories for entries inspired its core business priorities:
• Meshing the digital and physical - new technology enabling John Lewis to aggregate data and gain new insights to help provide an improved customer journey in-store, online and on mobile
• Effortless payments - tech to enable seamless omni-channel payment journeys in-store, switching between customer or partner mobile devices and fixed point EPOS
• Smart partners - ideas to enable a smart workforce to deliver better customer service in-store
• Connected home - technology to allow John Lewis to develop a differentiated connected home experience for customers
• Surprise us - innovations that are ‘so out of this world they are hard to classify’.
“As an established business we have certain ways of doing things and JLAB is an opportunity to inject the start-up spirit into our innovation efforts,” says Paul Coby, IT director at John Lewis.
Last year’s winner was micro-location outfit Localz, which is currently trialling its solution in Peter Jones. Localz’s technology gives customers the opportunity to take advantage of enhanced location services using their smartphones.