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Creating the perfect shopping experience

Your chance to help create the future of shopping and bring a smile to the faces of millions

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Applications are now closed


Over 8 weeks you’ll be given the unique opportunity to work with us to shape the next big innovation for the retail and leisure market. As owner of some of the most popular shopping destinations across the UK and Spain where we bring a smile to the face of our customers and help our retailers flourish. Supporting this goal, our premium content publisher and shopping platform, can now offer customers the choice of nearly 500 retailers, from John Lewis and Marks & Spencer to Topshop and River Island. We want to share all that experience with like-minded start-ups. We’ll give you direct access to our end users, from customer to retailers as well as our own in-house teams and give you access to key stakeholders across the business to develop products and services that will nurture the shopping experience of the future. With creativity being one of our core values, we have a history of spotting and introducing new ideas that help to bring a smile to the faces of our customers. We’re opening our doors to build more relationships to help the retail industry and start-ups flourish.


intu Accelerate categories

Capturing physical audiences digitally

How can we enhance and personalise the shopping experience and better understand our customers’ needs by using data?

We already collect huge amounts of data and use our insights to create compelling experiences. We want to continue to do this and explore new methods of analysis that will help us to carry on connecting with physical customers in a digital and meaningful way. If you’re developing the tools to do this then we want to hear from you!

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Events with a difference

We want to work with tech start-ups that can help us bring our communities closer together in our centres via events.

We want to hear from start-ups using smart technologies that can engage our retailers to host commercial events in our spaces and others who develop events and event services that go beyond our existing offering. We want to go above and beyond to surprise and delight our guests - this could be hosting educational events in our centres or opening up empty space for a monthly comedy night.

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Virtual shopping assistant

We’re looking to create the most seamless shopping experience for our customers through a virtual shopping assistant.

We’re looking for technologies that can understand our customers’ preferences in order to lead them on a refined, personalised journey through our digital channels and in our centres. Does your technology have the ability to virtually assist a customer’s visit? If so we want to hear from you.

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Categorising product data

We’re looking for solutions to help us sub-categorise the millions of pieces of product information that come from our retailers.

We find that the more accurate the sub-categorisation of products is the higher the resulting sales will be. We want to hear from teams using visualisation, image recognition and other technologies that can help us to accurately sub-categorise large volumes of products.

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We’re bold, creative and genuine. We are looking for new ideas, creating something exciting and seeing things differently.

We couldn’t help having an open category for those who like to think out of the box.
That’s what the wildcard is all about. Surprise us with a solution that we and our customers will fall in love with. As long as it doesn’t fall into the other categories, this is your chance to show us something we didn’t know we needed. If you feel that your solution is relevant to our brand and vision, we want to hear from you.

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What's on offer

Mentorship from intu senior leadership

Product validation from intu stakeholders and customers

Testing in a live intu centre environment or online

A network of external mentors with diverse market expertise

Opportunity to gain investment from the accelerator fund


04 April 2018

Applications close

Applications will be reviewed from this date, and we'll let you know if you have been shortlisted for the next stage.

01 May 2018

Pitch day

Pitch day is your startup’s chance to pitch to intu senior leadership to win a place on the programme.

14 May 2018

Programme starts

The 8-week intensive collaboration between you and intu starts here, supported by internal experts and external mentors.

17 July 2018

Demo day

Where you’ll show us what your startup has achieved over the 8 weeks and present your proposal for future engagement with intu.

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About the partners


We own many of the country’s most popular shopping centres, have a growing online presence and an expanding portfolio in Spain. We’re passionate about giving people their perfect shopping experience, on and off line.

Our whole business is focused on creating the best places for shopping and leisure, where customers smile and retailers flourish. We do that by bringing together our expertise and understanding of what customers want to provide compelling experiences that deliver real results for retailers, restaurateurs, and leisure specialists.

Our unique customer insight helps us understand what customers want now and in the future and we continually invest in our centres to build a long-term business that helps retailers flourish, communities thrive and our business to grow.

That’s the intu difference.


L Marks is a corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor. They build bridges between large corporates seeking to innovate more quickly with young companies with disruptive technologies, products and services. Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Stuart Marks, they run bespoke start-up partnership programmes across industry sectors, supporting rapid innovation and connecting them with the best start-ups.

They work with clients such as John Lewis, BMW and International Airlines Group (IAG) to identify where they believe the challenges are in their businesses and then turn these into opportunities for improvement and innovation. Each programme is tailored to deliver real solutions to the corporate partners and create real opportunities for start-up to test and grow their product with a major partner.