IKEA is on the search for startups to join an exclusive three-month Bootcamp programme in Sweden, with the aim of finding innovative solutions which the retailer itself can adopt.
The Bootcamp programme has been developed with Rainmaking, an agency specialising in corporate startup programmes.
The applicant startups have been tasked with solving one of IKEA's self-identified three 'big problems'. These are:
- How can we make IKEA affordable for everyone?
- How can we make IKEA's products accessible to everyone?
- How can we be fully sustainable and enable a positive impact on the planet?
Chris Brown, the CEO of IKEA Bootcamp told Techworld that the aim is for IKEA to be "the first customer of the startups...I want everyone coming out of this programme seeing IKEA as a partner and an anchor client".
He added that this is IKEA's first engagement with early-stage startups.
IKEA reached its second stop of a world tour called Head Start last night when it arrived in London. The six applicants who pitched were: StreetLike, Green Game, Divido, Shoppi, Digital Bridge and How Do I.
That is a wide range of startups, from classic retail tech like DigitalBridge, Shoppi and Street Like, to fintech Divido, edtech with How Do I and even a gamification platform for sustainability with Green Game.
The Head Start programme will continue on to Barcelona, Paris, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv and New York.
The winning ten startups will travel to the IKEA range and supply democratic design center in Älmhult, Sweden for a three-month programme starting in September.
The selected startups will get access to the prototype shop, test labs and high-level IKEA expertise and knowledge. They will also receive a grant of €20,000 (£17,620) to develop their product and cover business costs, as well as free housing for the duration of the programme. IKEA will not take equity in any participating startups.
The deadline for startups applying is August 6.