The Startup stage will showcase startups and growth-stage businesses vying for our audience’s attention. They represent the vanguard of the current creative era for retail, and have been hand-picked for their potential to disrupt business-as-usual.
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Gideon Lask, Buyapowa

Buyapowa provides a social-selling platform to the likes of Tesco, J&J and Paddy Power. Buyapowa brings together co-creation, dynamic pricing and gamification to provide an entertaining and engaging way of getting customers and their networks to buy. It’s CEO Gideon Lask founded letsbuyit.com and helped Universal pivot from being a pure music label into multi-channel business, selling fashion, music, memorabilia and tickets to over 10m fans globally.

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Chris Sheldrick, what3words

Much of the world has inadequate addressing, systems, leading to poor efficiency across retail and travel services. what3words offers an accessible solution based on the accuracy of GPS co-ordinates but with the simplicity of words. It has with the power to transform a range of services including e-commerce and delivery.

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Emer O’Daly, Love & Robots

Love & Robots is an interactive design brand for the digital age of products. Through its platform, users can tweak, personalise and redesign Love & Robots products directly from a browser, in real-time. The products are 3D-printed on-demand and shipped from the nearest factory to the customer. CEO and cofounder Emer O’Daly established Love & Robots with her two sisters, Kate and Aoibh, and software developer, Miguel Alonso.

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Mandeep Singh, StreetHub

StreetHub is an online-to-offline marketplace for independent retailers. Via its smartphone app, StreetHub shows users what fashion and home products are in local shops, in real time. Items can be purchased for 90-minute delivery or five-minute collection. StreetHub is backed by Index Ventures, Octopus, Playfair Capital, Avonmore and a group of angel investors, including current and former executives from Shutl, Just-Eat, Jack Wills, Vodafone, eBay and Google.

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Rossi Mitova, Farmhopping

Farmhopping bridges the gap between farms and urban populations. On the Farmhopper platform producers can create and manage their own online storefront to sell their produce for a fair price. Customers are able to order on-demand farm-fresh food directly from the producers and receive it delivered at their convenience – even at their place of work.

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Tom New, Formisimo

Formisimo is a Manchester-based analytics startup which aims to make the world’s online checkouts better – and easier to use. Formisimo is currently used by more than 1,000 businesses in 88 countries around the world, including SecretEscapes, Newegg and GoCardless. The startup recently received its first round of funding and also graduated from the Seedcamp accelerator programme earlier this year. Tom New previously spent time at Hiring-hub.com and Berg.

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Heini Zachariassen, Vivino

Founded in 2010, Vivino helps wine lovers discover, review, catalogue and discuss their favourite wines. The free mobile app allows users to take photos of wine labels and – using image recognition technology – match the images against a database of more than 4.5 million wines. With more than 6 million users Vivino is the world’s largest wine community. The app is available on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.

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Matt Drew, Homespot

The Homespot app allows users to discover great design, see it in their home – using augmented reality – and make purchases. Matt Drew is the cofounder of Sayduck, an augmented reality firm and Homespot’s developer. Drew is graduate of University Arts London. His career includes time at Christie’s auctioneer, print, media and consultancy.

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Jess Butcher, Blippar

Blippar is the world’s leading mobile visual browser and augmented reality platform, enabling users to unlock the physical world and bring it to life with mobile devices. Blippar is expanding rapidly internationally – 8 million users, hundreds of global brand and media partners.

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Ivan Mazour, Ometria

Ometria is a technology company producing a “software as a service” e-commerce intelligence solution, which helps online retailers leverage data to better understand their customers, and make optimal decisions to grow their business faster and more profitably. Its founder and CEO Ivan Mazour is also a founding partner of investment firm Innova Kapital. Ivan has invested in more than thirty technology startups.

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Spencer Hyman, Cocoa Runners

Cocoa Runners aims to be “chocolate’s equivalent of the wine society”, focusing on sweet treats with fewer additives and production processes. Cocoa Runners aims to make such products easier for consumers to get hold of. The service carefully selects artisan chocolate bars and delivers them in a letterbox friendly package. Its founders have tasted thousands of bars from five continents, 60 countries and over 200 towns to select a few hundred to send its customers.

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Joakim Lundeborg, Durated

By telling the stories of the people and processes involved in building clothes, footwear and accessories, Durated aims to promote positive changes in retail behaviour. Durated has created a social infrastructure where items are connected to one single online ecosystem. Each items’ production and life stories are held here, facilitating interactions between users and brands.

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Asbjørn Jørgensen, The Cloakroom

The Cloakroom aims to build Europe’s most customer-centric retailer by offering a personal shopping service for time-starved men who care about looking good. With €1.2m in funding, The Cloakroom has grown to 50 employees, 2 offices, 55% gross margins and an average of 30 percent monthly revenue growth since January 2014. By relying on data to understand its customers The Cloakroom increases service levels, drives higher margins and capital efficiency – with fewer write-downs.

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Jonathan Benshaoul, C-B4

C-B4 automatically constructs a granular model for each product in a store, using data compression and machine learning algorithms. C-B4’s solution finds the key patterns that lead to high sales, returns and profits at a store and product level, translating those patterns into actionable  recommendations with a forecasted revenue increase increase.

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Peter Janes, Shopa

Shopa is a social marketplace where users discover, talk about, share and buy clothing, accessories and products all in one place. Users personalise the network to their tastes and interests, and are rewarded for promoting products they like. Shopa was awarded the title of European Start-up of the year 2013

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Steph Fiala, Flubit

Founded in 2012 by Bertie Stephens and Adel Louertatani, Flubit.com is an ecommerce technology startup that creates private offers on products customers are ready to buy. Flubit.com’s order conversion rate is over 25 percent and since launching in October 2012 they have received 1.8 million website visits and created nearly 400,000 discounted offers for their growing customer base, representing savings of over £1.7 million for UK consumers.

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Alex Rashkovan, Auto Store Company

Auto Store Company specialise in automated retail and smart vending. The first Auto Store was designed to provide a multi-lingual, 24/7 product access solution to Herbalife’s distributors and was successfully deployed across seven countries. This led to the development of proprietary software and a scalable modular terminal design for ACS point of sale units.

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Amy Lai, Wittos

Wittos is a mobile analytics company, integrating advanced mobile analytics into public Wi-Fi hotspots. Wittos aims to enhance the customer’s in-store experience as they move around by offering relevant content and informed recommendations based on how they shop in the retail space.

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