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L Marks launch startup Innovation Lab along Belron

Autoglass® parent company seeks startup partnership through global accelerator

Belron®,  the leading global vehicle glass repair and replacement company is looking to find innovative startups to join 12-week programme.

London, November 28th 2016: Belron, the world’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement service provider has today, opened applications for their second global accelerator alongside investor and innovation partner L Marks.

After a successful pilot earlier this year, ‘Drive: the startup accelerator with Belron’ will continue to collaborate with disruptive startups who can effectively improve Belron operations, and want the opportunity to trial their products with a global organisation.

Applications for the 10-week startup accelerator need to be submitted by 29 January 2017. Those that get through the initial selection process will be invited to pitch for a place on the 10-week programme in March and the programme will begin in April.

The startups with winning pitches will be partnered with one of Belron’s businesses around the globe. Startups will have exclusive access to expert mentors from Belron’s senior leadership, as well as desk space at its head office. Additionally, Belron and L Marks will make available a fund of £200,000 with the aim of investing in participating companies.

Belron is looking for startups that can help them innovate in the following areas:

  • Customer Conversion: Belron has many more potential customers contacting them about a problem with their vehicle glass than customers actually served each year. Belron is looking for solutions and approaches that can help convert every potential customer however they make contact.
  • Service Experience: In an age where customers are looking for convenience, Belron is looking for solutions that will help their customers to help themselves get the service experience they want.
  • Capability and Engagement: Belron is looking for truly innovative ways to deliver training, connect and facilitate easy communication for their people.
  • Supporting Insurers: Belron is keen to find solutions that can help their insurance partners retain or upsell to their policyholders, or that can help them handle their claims (including vehicle glass) more efficiently.
  • Digital Problem Solving: Belron is looking for ideas, products or services that could leverage their strengths in vehicle glass repair and replacement, while disrupting the solution to other types of everyday problems that people have.

Each team will receive:

  • The chance to trial their product in a ready-made international market
  • Access to expert mentoring from Belron senior leadership as well as experienced entrepreneurs
  • Dedicated office space at Belron’s UK premises just outside London
  • Access to investment from a fund of £200,000

Applications will be open from 28th November 2016 and Belron welcomes startups at every stage, from anywhere in the world, and with innovative ideas or solutions to apply for a chance to pitch their ideas in March.

Stuart Marks, Chairman, L Marks commented: “The original Drive accelerator was a huge success, resulting in investment, continued relationships and real innovative change. Belron is dedicated to improving business processes through startup partnership, which is why we’re thrilled to support this second round of Drive. This really is a fantastic opportunity for startups to trial their products and tech in a ready-made international market.”

Nick Burton, Head of Digital & Innovative Technology at Belron, added: “Last year we were delighted to see the range, quality and experience of the startups who applied to our first Drive accelerator. The fact that we are still working with all four of the startups we selected, even after the programme completed, is a testament to the quality of their ideas.

“For 2017 I am anticipating that things will move up a notch. Improvements in technology are increasing at a rapid pace and capabilities that only a few years ago seemed like science fiction, are now becoming mainstream. So I’m hoping to see great examples of machine learning, artificial intelligence, new ways of interacting with customers and my colleagues across the business, and truly innovative approaches to using data that can help do what we do even better.”

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