TrueStart launches fourth retail start-up accelerator

TrueStart has announced the details of its next retail start-up programme. The 'Winter Collection' will be the company's fourth accelerator since launching in 2013.

The new programme is due to commence on 2 December 2016 and will last for four months. TrueStart is offering participants of the Winter Collection either £25,000 for 4.5% equity, £50,000 for 9% or a zero cash deal for 3%. Companies will also receive mentorship and access to TrueStart's retail network, which includes John Lewis, Morrisons and River Island.

"As we open each new programme, the quality of the applicants continues to soar. Our expectations continue to be exceeded with each programme as we witness some truly innovative start-ups that are primed to disrupt our industry," said Baz Saidieh, CEO of TrueStart. "We are attracting rock-star founders from all sectors that are set to change retail and consumer industries in the years to come."

The last programme attracted over 250 applications from 40 countries and has helped business scale quickly, including Hullabalook, Quikkly, BeeLine and Induo.

The start-ups benefit from access to over 3,000 senior retail managers, who are part of the TrueStart retail network. Strategic partners, including Land Securities, River Island, John Lewis, Morrisons and Accenture also provide start-ups with support and access to buyers and decision makers.

Saidieh added: "Our retail network, built up over many years’ in the industry, is what enables us to stand out from the crowd. This door-opening potential to some of the UK – and world’s – most leading retailers and decision makers in the retail and consumer industries provides support, advice and most importantly, scale our startups need. It is a game changer, for both the start-ups, but also the retailers looking for innovation. It is a firm indicator that TrueStart has developed the right formula – industry insight and contacts mixed with world class partners and teams offer young businesses a path to accelerated growth."

Start-ups who successfully make it onto the programme are also provided with desk space in TrueStart’s Hub in Victoria, as well as accounting and legal aid.

One of the first investments made by TrueStart was into City Pantry, which closed its latest funding round worth over £1.1 million. In addition, another TrueStart start-up, Photospire, is working with Morrisons and John Lewis on customer engagement campaigns

Applications for the Winter Collection opened 1 September 2016 and close at midnight on 16 October 2016. To apply visit the TrueStart website.