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John Lewis partners with TrueStart to fast-track retail startups

John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has joined forces with TrueStart, the London-based retail and consumer accelerator and investment fund, to find, fund and fast-track retail-specific startups.

TrueStart hub

TrueStart hub

TrueStart hub

JLP will offer companies on TrueStart’s accelerator programme exposure to its retail capabilities with a view of bringing the best ideas to commercial reality.

One such firm is Photospire, a technology platform that enables retailers and brands to create real-time, personalised video content for its customers.

Photospire, which is backed by TrueStart, is now in discussions with JLP about using product recommendation videos tailored to individual customers.

Tom Athron, group development director at JLP, said: “By collaborating with TrueStart we will be supporting the future growth of our company by partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs and fast tracking their ideas. I firmly believe that all businesses focused on growth in a rapidly changing world will need a few eureka moments to thrive.”

Matt Truman, chief executive at at True Capital, the retail and consumer sector-specialist private equity firm which owns TrueStart, said: “TrueStart looks to work with genuinely disruptive businesses that have the potential to inform real change in the retail sector.

“By joining forces [with JLP] we can lean on our joint expertise to ensure that the retail industry keeps innovation at its core, transforming the fashion, home and technology sectors in these rapidly changing times.”

The partnership between JLP and TrueStart, known as the Eureka Initiative, will complement John Lewis’s existing incubator called JLab. JLab aims to deliver a broader range of new products and services across the department store portfolio.

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