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intu Accelerate to introduce seven transformative retail start-ups

By Vivian Hendriksz

13 Oct 2017

Business

intu Accelerate, part of intu Group, one of the UK's leading shopping centre owners, has launched a start-up incubation programme to help transform UK retail.

Seven new businesses with innovative ideas for British retail have joined intu Accelerate, run together with innovation specialists L Marks, to develop new technologies and services for the UK retail market. The 7 selected start-ups will have the opportunity to pilot their ideas at intu shopping centres as well as online at intu.co.uk.

The start-ups selected to take part in a ten-week period are BotsandUs, GoInStore, Infraspeak, Percent, Soza Health, Toky Woky and WoraPay. Offering a range of services, such as robotic retail assistants, technologies that will improve building management or drive more customers to shops by enabling them to cut out queue, were chosen from a group of more than 120 applications.

"We’re working in partnership with some of the smartest minds and best talent out there to answer many of the questions facing the retail and leisure industry today," commented David Fischel, intu chief executive, "We’ve invited each start-up to show how we can do things differently at intu and they have also been given the opportunity to run live trials across our business that will test and demonstrate the potential of their ideas to shape the future of retail."

"Our aim is to create more compelling shopping experiences that make our customers smile and help our retailers flourish, and what we’re learning through this programme is helping us to achieve just that." Each of the selected entrepreneurs is also set to receive mentoring from intu and will be able to use their central London office space.

They will also have the opportunity to pitch for further investment once the ten-week incubation programmes have come to an end. "The retail sector is rapidly changing and has become one of the most dynamic and disruptive industries to work in," said Stuart Marks, L Marks chairman. "I know this is a unique opportunity for start-ups to partner with intu and gain true validation for their product with the market leader."

Photos: courtesy of intu