Intu opens second round of accelerator


Emma Gordon

Entrepreneurs with the vision to transform the retail and leisure market are being invited to apply for an incubation programme, set to bring their ideas to life.

Intu, which owns shopping centres in the UK and Spain, says following a successful first year, its eight-week accelerator programme is now open for applications.

Start-ups chosen to take part in Intu Accelerate will receive mentoring from the retail and leisure firm’s senior leadership, as well as from other business and technology experts.

Successful applicants will also be able to pilot and test their products, and will have access to central London office space as well as potential investment.

Intu says last year’s successful initiative brought robots to its sites for the first time, including the Intu Trafford and Lakeside centres, and introduced queue-jumping apps and chatbots online.

The 2018 programme has five application categories: capturing physical audiences digitally; events with a difference; virtual shopping assistant; categorising product data and an open wildcard option.

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….”

“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.”

Steve Goldman, CEO of Soza Health, a company from last year’s intake that offered shoppers health assessments and personalised wellbeing recommendations, said: “We’ve benefited from a corporate infrastructure — something start-ups never get — and we’ve had the opportunity to work with an outstanding team.”

Intu Accelerate is being run in partnership with London-based innovation specialists and investment firm L Marks. The deadline for applications is 1 April. Find out more at

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