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John Lewis Partnership Initiates Campaign to Find and Fund Retail-Specific Start-Ups

The John Lewis Partnership and TrueStart are working together to find and fund new products, services and technologies for retail’s future.

The U.K. retailer on Friday announced the launch of The Eureka Initiative. This collaboration between the John Lewis Partnership and TrueStart will allow start-ups in The Collector (TrueStart’s accelerator program) to access the partnership’s market-leading retail capabilities.

The Eureka Initiative will work with JLAB, the John Lewis incubator that provides department store portfolio services. In this partnership, both companies will assist never-seen-before products and services go from concept development to final product.

“The John Lewis Partnership began life as a brave entrepreneurial experiment. 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,” said Tom Athron, group development director at John Lewis Partnership. “I firmly believe that all businesses focused on growth in a rapidly changing world will need a few eureka moments to thrive.”

TrueStart-supported Photospire is one start-up that will benefit from the Eureka Initiative. The company, a digital platform that allows brands and retailers to create real-time customer video content, is discussing potential product recommendation videos with the John Lewis Partnership, which it will use to develop its core customer demographic.

“Working with the John Lewis Partnership will allow us to use real-time data and tell a story to each of its customers in a targeted, personalized and engaging way. Having access to the right people was only possible because of the partnership between TrueStart and the John Lewis Partnership,” said Photospire CEO Ger O’Meara. “This is the very definition of ‘accelerator’, and highlights the value of TrueStart and its retail network.”

The Eureka Initiative will continue to impact brands and retailers looking for an edge in today’s competitive market.

“TrueStart looks to work with genuinely disruptive businesses that have the potential to inform real change in the retail sector,” said Matt Truman, CEO of True Capital, the private equity firm that owns TrueStart. “By joining forces 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.”