New retail innovation hub launches in Central London

Retail and consumer innovation hub TrueStart has launched as digital innovation in the retail sector continues to accelerate.

The hub, located in Victoria, London, plans to bring together start-ups and larger companies who are seeking to disrupt any aspect of the retail or consumer landscape such as data analytics, retail innovation, supply chain and advertising technology.

Richard Mergler, co-founder of TrueStart, said: “We are committed to finding and supporting innovative businesses and ideas that have genuine potential to shape the future of the retail and consumer industries.”

The first entrant into the hub is The Unseen – a start-up founded by Lauren Bowker which integrates electronic and chemical elements into materials which can change the colour of garments.

Frank Meehan – an ex-board director for Siri and Spotify who co-founded a start-up hub in Asia – gave a speech on digital transformation at the launch.

He told Retail Gazette: “I don‘t think we are going to get another Facebook out of the UK, but what we do get is very strong innovation in retail and fin-tech, which are not that strong in Asia. In Asia it‘s very much more about e-commerce businesses, gaming, which is very big, so those are the kinds of differences at the moment.”

It aims to house up to 20 start-ups with each receiving a minimum of £25,000 over a six month period. In return TrueStart will receive a 10 per cent stake in the business.

The new comes as John Lewis and Rakuten launched their own respective start-ups as firms aim to tap into entrepreneurs digital solutions which could change the face of retail.


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