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John Lewis to invest £100K in beacon start-up and JLab incubator scheme winner Localz

John Lewis has chosen 'micro-location' mobile start-up Localz as the winner of its technology incubator scheme JLab and will invest £100,000 into developing the service in the UK.

Localz technology is designed to make the shopping experience easier for customers, with the ability to automatically offer to trigger their Click & Collect order to be picked as they enter the shop, or help customers navigate their way around stores based on their online wish list.

As winner of the JLabs scheme it will further develop its technology in conjunction with John Lewis to cater for the new generation of mobile and micro-location experiences, and prepare to launch live trials in-store.

It is now looking to hire new talent to join its London-based team.

The JLabs scheme, which launched this spring, was created to help the retailer keep abreast of the latest technologies to ensure its shopping experience catered to future consumer needs and expectations.

Earlier this year 30 start-ups were picked from 100 entrants, and after a major pitching round at FinTech accelerator space Level 39 in Canary Wharf, five finalists were picked – Musaic, SpaceDesigned, Tap2Connect, and Viewsy.

They were then given 12 weeks to develop their ideas, helped by John Lewis mentors and external entrepreneurs, and a fund of £12,500 each.

Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis, said: “Innovation is at the heart of John Lewis and JLAB, our first tech incubator, has given us a new way to explore the technologies that will change how we all shop in the future.

"It’s been a hugely rewarding and educational experience, drawing on a diverse group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and we have a very worthy winner who we’re looking forward to working with in the months ahead.”

The final pitch day on 23 Septmeber saw Localz picked as overall winner.