L Marks & William Hill partner for a startup Innovation Lab
- Eight places for startups, £25,000 investment up front plus 12 weeks of support and office space in London or Tel Aviv WHLabs
- Up to £150,000 investment available for the winning business that develops the most innovative product in any of six entry categories
- To apply visit WHLabs website: www.williamhilllabs.com. Applications accepted from 24 June to 26 July 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 24 June 2015, London and Tel Aviv: Today William Hill, one of the world’s leading digital and land-based gambling companies, announces the launch of an industry first technology accelerator at ‘WHLabs’ in a new partnership with technology entrepreneur Stuart Marks’ investment fund L Marks.
The purpose of WHLabs is to identify and develop technology innovations for the gambling and gaming industry, with customers’ needs at the core of each idea.
WHLabs is offering up to eight tech startups a place on a 12-week accelerator programme from September to December 2015. Each startup will be supported with an initial investment of £25,000 and office space for the duration of the programme in either William Hill’s digital innovation hub in Shoreditch, East London, or in its Tel Aviv office, a marketing services hub for William Hill’s global activities. Also included are:
- Access to the William Hill APIs;
- Mentorship from William Hill leaders and top third-party entrepreneurs;
- An “exchange week” between William Hill’s Shoreditch and Tel Aviv digital offices; and
- The opportunity to win a further up to £150,000 investment.
Applications open on 24 June to startups at any stage of development. There are six different entry categories, each inspired by William Hill’s core business priorities.
- Thrill of the ride: new technology that enhances the “thrill of the ride” from when a customer places a bet through to it being settled and that brings real entertainment value to the betting and gaming experience.
- Omni channel: innovations that harness William Hill’s digital and land-based assets to deliver its customers an even better experience and service, and give them a more consistent William Hill experience however and whenever they want to bet.
- Technical efficiencies: Big Data technology solutions that can improve how William Hill manages its huge volumes of transactions, volatility of pricing and a multitude of data feeds, as well as take advantage of the explosion of data that are available to analyse.
- Player Funnel: businesses that can offer break-through technology solutions in marketing areas such as Pay Per Click (PPC) or social media, or innovations in segmentation, business intelligence, CRM, loyalty and responsible gaming.
- New products: new betting or gaming products that appeal to William Hill’s core customers, offer something differentiated and entertaining, and utilise emerging high-growth technologies or devices.
- Surprise Us: innovations that are so out of this world they are hard to classify.
Gibraltar based Andy Lee, Managing Director of William Hill’s Online business, said: “Our industry is ripe for further disruption and through our WHLabs Accelerator we will nurture the next generation of technology startups, while helping ensure we remain at the cutting-edge of omni-channel change. William Hill is at the leading edge of digital betting and we’re excited to work with the most innovative startups to identify and then help build the next big opportunities in gambling.”
Crispin Nieboer, Director of Corporate Development and Innovation in William Hill’s Shoreditch office, and executive sponsor for the initiative, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for startups to access funding, office space, and mentoring to refine their products. We have targeted this accelerator to help startups focus on the areas that our customers will enjoy the most. The selected businesses will be able to rapidly develop their ideas, supported by a team of William Hill leaders and external mentors. At the end of the programme, we are looking to award the winning startup a contract to trial their solution with William Hill and up to £150,000 in further investment.”
Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur, said: “I’m delighted to be working with William Hill to deliver WHLabs. We have crafted something unique in the betting and gaming sector, which will give businesses an environment where they can develop their ideas and access to the thriving tech-entrepreneur communities in Shoreditch and Tel Aviv. This is the first time that we have run one of our accelerators simultaneously in the UK and Israel, where technology-driven solutions are often developed to support William Hill’s gambling services in the UK and globally and I’m certain that we will find new and exciting technology that will strengthen William Hill’s leadership in global betting and gaming.”
Nathan Tsror, Head of the Economic and Trade Mission to the UK from Israel’s Ministry of Economy said: “Both Israel and the UK have established hubs for startups and are increasingly working together to accelerate the development of exciting technologies. Initiatives such as the formation of WHLabs have the potential to uncover talent and produce a new wave of technological advances – for William Hill and across the industry. We are delighted to support today’s announcement. I look forward to seeing startups thrive in WHLabs Israel”
If you want the opportunity to be a part of WHLabs, then apply on www.williamhilllabs.com. The application process starts on 24 June 2015 and closes 26 July 2015.
Aideen Lee / David Blackburn, Brunswick Group, +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
Liberty Mawhood, L Marks, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0) 7592 230910
Embassy of Israel, London