intu names second accelerator participants

UK shopping centre chain intu will be piloting new technologies across its UK estate from this month as part of its startup incubation programme.

intu has signed up seven start-up companies, selected from 97 applicants, who will test their innovative ideas to shape the future of retail and leisure at its shopping centres and online at

The new businesses have been invited to work with the owner of intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside and intu Metrocentre to develop their products and services over a ten-week period.

intu Accelerate is now in its second year following the success of last year’s initiative which trialled retail robots, queue jumping apps, and online personal shoppers. It is once again being run in partnership with innovation specialists L Marks.

The companies taking part this year are:

CarTap – provides secure access to vehicles to deliver shoppers’ bags straight to their cars

Grid Edge – saves money and reduces carbon emissions by using artificial intelligence to control energy usage

Rhythm – creates multiplayer games for big screens that connect companies with crowds of people

WeFiFo – an online marketplace that connects amateur and professional chefs with paying guests

Greendeck – uses AI to help fashion brands and retailers automatically classify products into categories and attributes

Yosh.Ai – a virtual assistant that provides a personal shopping service

Roialty – hi-tech marketing platform that turns anonymous social media data into valuable customer insight

David Fischel, intu chief executive, said: “Retail is one of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic industries and it’s transforming at pace. Together with these creative and innovative businesses, we’re developing answers to many of the questions facing our customers and retailers today.

“intu Accelerate is giving these seven new businesses the opportunity to show how we can do things differently through live trials that will also demonstrate the potential of their idea to shape the future of retail and create the perfect shopping experience.”

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