In the first such programme of its kind from a retailer, the AO Innovation Lab will select startups through a rigorous search and selection process to work alongside it in crossing new frontiers in e-commerce.
L Marks, the UK’s leading innovation advisory firm, has already created over fifty global corporate accelerators and will lead the hunt for startups for the AO Innovation Lab.
AO will provide the startups with access to senior mentors and industry experts, along with development opportunities and product validation, pilot schemes on AO.com, and the potential for investment from AO and L Marks.
L Marks will use its expertise to identify startups from all over the world using criteria set by AO, including creating unique shopping experiences, creating a more digital salesforce, optimising customer deliveries and the next phase of AR. The AO Innovation Lab is also open to anybody who thinks they have an amazing idea but need help to get it going.
Successful startups will take part in a ten week innovation programme in the AO Innovation Lab which will create an environment to demonstrate ideas and collaborate to turn them into real life tools and products.
“The launch of AO Innovation Lab underlines the entrepreneurial ethos that has existed within the company since its founding less than 20 years ago,” said Daniel Saunders, CEO of L Marks. “AO is a British success story that understands innovation, strategic growth, and the importance to strive for a better way. This is the first time L Marks will be working with a pureplay e-tailer and we are excited to be working with such an innovative and successful company. AO is perfectly suited to support startups in their development whilst harnessing the latest technology innovations to improve their own operations and create new experiences for their customers.”
“The AO Innovation Lab is about inventing our future now,” said AO’s Founder and CEO, John Roberts. “I’m passionate about innovation and constantly disrupting ourselves in the pursuit of having the happiest customers. We have a world class IT team but we don’t know what we don’t know, so the AO Innovation Lab will challenge our thinking and open our eyes even wider. Partnering with experts like L Marks means we’ll find tomorrow’s tech entrepreneurs and make their ideas a reality to the benefit of our customers. It’s one of those situations where everyone involved is a winner.”
Applications to the AO Innovation Lab are open until 23:59:59 on Wednesday May 22 2019. For more information about the programme, please visit ao-innovationlab.com.