John Lewis smells like teen spirit

JLab is John Lewis’ tech accelerator programme which helps fledgling businesses to grow
THREE business-savvy teenagers are in the running to win £100,000 of venture capital funding for their company, as part of John Lewis’ business accelerator programme JLab.

Alex Waterhouse, 17, George Streten, 15, and James Anderson, 17, are the brains behind Space Lounges, one of five companies shortlisted to win the prize money.

John Lewis works with tech entrepreneur Stuart Marks and his fund L Marks to find the next stars of tech-based retail through its annual JLab initiative.

The retailer has narrowed the list down to five companies – Space Lounges, Qudini, Peeple, Alfred and Ikinen – and given each office space at its headquarters for the next 12 weeks, with access to a set of business mentors. The final winner will be crowned in September.

“Innovation is in John Lewis’ DNA and we want to work with tech start ups to define the future of retail,” John Lewis IT director Paul Coby said. “I am looking forward greatly to working with each of the finalists over the summer.”

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