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intu on the lookout for the next big thing in retail


intu, the owner of some of the UK’s largest and most popular shopping centres, including intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside and intu Metrocentre, is again on the lookout for exciting entrepreneurs to work with as part of intu Accelerate.

The incubation programme, now in its second year, aims to develop young businesses with fresh ideas that will help shape the future of the retail and leisure market.
 
Following on from a last year’s success, which saw robots in centres, chat bots online and queue-jumping apps, this year’s eight-week 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 have the opportunity to pilot and test their products whilst enjoying access to central London office space and potential investment.
 
David Fischel, intu chief executive, says: “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 class of 2017 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.
 
Steve Goldman, Soza Health, says: “This programme has been a “game-changer” experience for Soza Health. It’s been a joy being part of intu Accelerate (2017). We’ve benefited from a corporate infrastructure – something that start-ups never get – and we’ve had the opportunity to work with an outstanding team.”
 
intu Accelerate is being run in partnership with innovation specialists L Marks, who work with some of the UK’s best known brands, including John Lewis, International Airlines Group and EDF Energy.

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