John Lewis announces finalists for technology accelerator

Tech start-ups Qudini, Peeple, Alfred, Space Lounges and Ikinen have been named the finalists for John Lewis' JLAB.

JLAB is the retailer's technology accelerator run in partnership with technology entrepreneur Stuart Marks and his venture fund, L Marks.
Photo: John Lewis - Students can apply from September 1 to October 31.

The five companies had to pitch their ideas earlier this year and are now competing to win the prize of funding and a contract from John Lewis. One of the brands, Space Lounges, is run by teenage start-ups Alex Waterhouse, George Streten and James Anderson.

Each company gets initial funding and office space within John Lewis's head office for 12 weeks and access to a full panel of John Lewis mentors. In September, the final winner will be chosen and receive up to £100,000 funding.

Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis, said: "Innovation is in John Lewis' DNA and we want to work with tech start ups to define the future of retail. The five start-ups we've chosen certainly demonstrate what a wealth of great ideas there is out there. Each idea has huge potential to bring something new, whether to our customers' experience of shopping or consumers' everyday lives. I am looking forward greatly to working with each of the finalists over the summer to help them move their ideas closer to reality, and to share the values of the John Lewis Partnership with them."

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