Big for start-ups
Ikea is launching a bootcamp to collaborate/co-build with start-ups to find solutions to Ikea ‘Big Problems’ to enable a ‘positive impact on the planet, people and society’. To that end the retail giant is currently on the lookout for 10 outfits to spend three months at the Ikea Range & Supply Democratic Design Centre in Sweden on an accelerator programme, together with entrepreneurial co-operative Rainmaking.
Those Big Problems revolve around three axes, which are more company-centric than you might expect. First, Ikea says it wants to be affordable for people who can’t afford Ikea today. There’s also accessibility, which means Ikea being where people are. And finally, Ikea wants to create capabilities that contribute to a sustainable future and a circular economy.
“We are looking for start-ups who want to challenge known truths in a world of ideas and technology,” the company says. “You are a team of co-founders and an early stage start-up. Your company may have anything from an idea to early revenue. You may or may not have received your first funding.”
Ikea says it expects applicants to be busy in areas such as the Internet of Things, augmented reality, chatbots, AI-assisted design, smart energy, smart buildings, urban farming, drones, Big Data, cloud innovation and the rest…
Applications are due by August 6, and the selected start-ups will get access to Ikea’s prototype shop, test labs and innovation development. They will also be awarded a €20,000 grant, along with free co-working space and acommodation during the programme.
However, there’s no mention of access to Ikea’s Space10 innovations lab which has already come up with the likes of The Growroom, a spherical neighbourhood garden. The lab also recently launched a survey to discover what people really think about artificial intelligence.