Start-ups with brave new ideas looking for industry expert's opinions, funding and office space now have a chance to win all of that, through a John Lewis start-up accelerator programme.
The JLAB 2016 programme, now in its third year, offers start-ups a chance to win 12 weeks of top-level mentoring, six months' free office space, and funding of up to £100,000 from the dedicated microfund attached to the programme.
In exchange, John Lewis gets equity in the new company.
The goal of the project is to produce a good, or a service, to help 'shape the retail experience for customers of the future'.
Here are the categories in which start-ups can collaborate with John Lewis: Health and wellbeing, Simplify My Life (simplifying the retail experience through technology), Effortless Shopping (gathering insights on customers' in-shop behaviour), Tech For Kids, and Surprise Us (described as ' innovations that are so out of this world they can’t be classified').
"JLAB turned us into a global company. Working with John Lewis and L Marks took us to the next level, and helped us better understand and create a product for the international market,” said Chris Chuter, CEO of Peeple (2015 JLAB winners).
Applications are now open, and will remain so until Sunday, May 8 at midnight. After applications close, up to five start-ups will be selected by John Lewis and L Marks, to complete the 12-week programme, which is planned to go ahead in July 2016.
The winner will be announced in September, at a showcase event.