From flat pack to boot strapped: Ikea's launched a startup accelerator to solve "big challenges" of affordability and sustainability

Lynsey Barber
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IKEA To Raise Minimum Wage At US Stores By An Average Of 17 Percent
Ikea Bootcamp will offer space, cash and business mentoring to startups (Source: Getty)

Ikea is the latest corporate eyeing innovations from startups with the launch of its first accelerator.

The furniture giant, which once called time on consumerism having declared "peak stuff", is switching flat pack for boot strap in the hope of solving the challenges of everyday life.

Three areas are of interest for Ikea it says represents "big challenges" and which it is looking to work with startups on are affordability, accessibility, and "enabling a positive impact on the planet and society".

Read more: Flat-pack furniture giant Ikea has appointed a new chief executive

It envisages a range of early stage firms from disruptive technologies and design, retail and customer experience, sustainability, food, manufacturing as well as supply chain and logistics to apply.

The Ikea Bootcamp, partnering with entrepreneur collective Rainmaking, will hunt for 10 startups to join its new co-working space at its design centre in Sweden where they will spend three months being mentored from business leaders to engineers while working on their ideas, as well as €20,000.

Read more: Ikea is creating 1,300 new jobs in the UK by 2018

“We believe that the Ikea scale and impact merged with our network and experience from building startups and innovation programs will provide a great environment for the startups," said Rainmaking partner Alex Farcet.

"The program will help them speed up their development and create innovative products and services that truly have a positive effect on people’s lives”

The bootcamp will run at the end of the year, from September to December, and could result in Ikea investing in the firms or licensing their technology.

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