Belron seeks startup partnership through new global accelerator

28 November 2016

Applications have now opened for our second global accelerator alongside investor and innovation partner L Marks.

After a successful pilot earlier this year, ‘Drive: the startup accelerator with Belron’ we will continue to collaborate with disruptive startups who can effectively improve our 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 our businesses around the globe. Startups will have exclusive access to expert mentors from our senior leadership, as well as desk space at our head office. Additionally, Belron and L Marks will make available a fund of £200,000 with the aim of investing in participating companies.

We are looking for startups that can help us innovate in the following areas:

  • Customer Conversion: We have many more potential customers contacting us about a problem with their vehicle glass than customers actually served each year. We are 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, we are looking for solutions that will help our customers to help themselves get the service experience they want.
  • Capability and Engagement: We are looking for truly innovative ways to deliver training, connect and facilitate easy communication for our people.
  • Supporting Insurers: We are keen to find solutions that can help our insurance partners retain or upsell to their policyholders, or that can help them handle their claims (including vehicle glass) more efficiently.
  • Digital Problem Solving: We are looking for ideas, products or services that could leverage our 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 our UK premises just outside London
  • Access to investment from a fund of £200,000

Applications will be open from 28th November 2016 and we welcome 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.”

Watch the video and hear about our first Drive with Belron accelerator programme and the experience of our winners, Sorry as a Service.

You can find out more about Drive at: www.drivewithbelron.com.

Follow us on social: #DriveWithBelron or find us on Twitter @DriveBelron.