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Intu Accelerate 2018 hunts for next big thing in retail

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by Startacus Admin

Following a successful inaugural year which saw robots in centres, chat bots online and queue-jumping apps, intu Accelerate 2018 is once open for applications from startups looking to create the perfect shopping experience.

Owner of some of the UK’s largest and most popular shopping centres, such as intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside and intu Metrocentre, the 8-week programme will aim to develop young businesses with intu accelerator 2018fresh ideas that will help shape the future of the retail and leisure market.

Run in partnership with innovation specialists L Marks, who work with some of the UK’s best known brands, including BMW Group, Arsenal FC, and Wincanton the intu 8-week accelerator programme will fully immerse successful applicants in intu’s business by providing mentorship from senior leadership, as well as experts from across the business and tech worlds.

Those selected will also have the opportunity to pilot and test their products whilst enjoying access to central London office space and potential investment.

intu David Fischel, intu chief executive, said “Retail is one of the most dynamic industries in the UK, and we are continually looking to work hand-in-hand with some of the best talent out there, bursting with creative ideas, to find new approaches to improve our offer to customers and retailers.  I’m very excited to see what this year’s applicants will bring to the table. We’re also hoping to identify start-ups for potential investment which in turn will help us deliver a healthy return.”

intu Accelerate’s 2017 class included BotsAndUs with their robot assistants, GoInStore who create live in-store video experiences for online customers and Soza Health who provide customers health assessments and tailored recommendations to optimise their health.

intu accelerator 2018

intu Accelerate 2018 has five categories for startups to apply to:

Capturing physical audiences digitally: How can intu enhance and personalise the shopping experience and better understand their customers’ needs by using data?

Events with a difference: intu want to work with tech startups that can help bring their communities closer together. They want to go above and beyond to surprise and delight their guests - this could be hosting educational events in their centres or opening up empty space for a monthly comedy night.

Virtual shopping assistant: intu are looking to create the most seamless shopping experience for their customers through a virtual shopping assistant. They are looking for technologies that can intu accelerator 2018understand their customers’ preferences in order to lead them on a refined, personalised journey through their online channels and in their centres.

Categorising product data: intu are looking for solutions to help them categorise the millions of products on their online virtual shopping centre, to improve the customer experience and drive even higher sales for their retailers. They want to hear from teams using visualisation, image recognition and other technologies.

Wildcard: intu like looking for the new, creating something different and looking at things differently, so they had to include an open category for those who like to think out of the box.

intu accelerator 2018

Timescales to apply to intu Accelerate 2018

Applications close on the 4th April 2018, with shortlisted startups invited to a Pitch day on 1st May, where the startups will pitch to intu senior leadership to win a place on the programme. The 8-week intensive programme will kick off on the 14th May with demo day then taking place at the end of the programme on the 17th July 2018.

Applications are now open until 4th April, so to apply and for more information and to read over the FAQ’s, head to

Best of luck to all that apply!

Content written in partnership with L Marks.

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Published on: 13th March 2018

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