John Lewis has embarked on a new venture to accelerate retail start-ups and fast-track retail technologies into the market.

The department store chain has joined forces with TrueStart, a start-up accelerator and investment fund, to create ‘The Eureka Initiative’ to allow new brands to bring their ideas to commercial reality.

One start-up that will benefit from the initiative is TrueStart-backed Photospire, a technology platform that enables retailers and brands to create real-time, personalised video content for their customers.

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Photospire is in discussions with the John Lewis Partnership regarding activation activities that target the brand’s customers with product recommendation videos tailored to individual customers.

Tom Athron, group development director at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “The John Lewis Partnership began life as a brave entrepreneurial experiment. By collaborating with TrueStart we will be supporting the future growth of our company by partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs and fast tracking their ideas. I firmly believe that all businesses focused on growth in a rapidly changing world will need a few eureka moments to thrive.”

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Matt Truman, CEO at True Capital, the retail and consumer sector-specialist private equity firm which owns TrueStart, commented: “TrueStart looks to work with genuinely disruptive businesses that have the potential to inform real change in the retail sector. I am delighted to welcome the John Lewis Partnership on board as our latest strategic partner.

“By joining forces we can lean on our joint expertise to ensure that the retail industry keeps innovation at its core, transforming the fashion, home and technology sectors in these rapidly changing times.”

The Eureka Initiative between the John Lewis Partnership and TrueStart will complement the successful JLAB project currently run by John Lewis, which aims to deliver a broader range of new products and services across the department store portfolio.