StartUps: PitchUp to John Lewis
Small business startups are being given a unique opportunity to pitch their products to high street retailer John Lewis.
Through the national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain, the country’s startups are being asked to pitch their products in the latest round of the PitchUp competition.
Not only will startups get the chance to see their goods on the shelves of John Lewis stores but the competition is also seeking iconic products that showcase the best of British innovation. John Lewis stores celebrate their 150th birthday next year so it’s the chance for SMEs to do something special.
Last year’s event saw 400 startups competing for 12 places to get infront of the retail chain’s buyers. The final dozen included bespoke shampoos from Concoction, an educational recycling kit from Beecycle and designer menswear from factory offcuts Sirplus.
Emma Jones, the co-founder of StartUp Britain said of the event:
“We’re seeing record numbers of businesses starting up, with more and more people starting out small and online.”
“One of their biggest challenges can be getting their products in front of top buyers. This competition gives them a really great opportunity to find out what it’s like to work with British institutions like John Lewis – and set them on their journey to become the retail stars of the future.”
Christine Kasoulis, John Lewis partnerships’s Director of Brand Development added:
“PitchUp is a tremendously exciting opportunity for us to discover unique products and innovative designs for our customers, while at the same time supporting talented start-ups. We want to see these entrepreneurs realise their aspirations and by sharing our expertise and experience, through mentoring.”
This year’s 12 chosen startups will receive mentoring and practical advice to help them prepare their products for the retail environment.
Start-ups have until 23:59 GMT on the 10th of March to get their applications in with the finalists for the pitching event being in early April.
PitchUp is just one of a number of initiatives to help invigorate the small business sector including StartUp Britain’s retail arm PopUp Britain which is seeking to get more retailer ideas temprarily using empty shops, or PopUp Shops as they are known.
To enter PitchUp fill out this form