IKEA Centres Russia’s business incubator takes customer experience to the next level

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IKEA Centres Russia, the largest shopping centre operator in Russia and part of the IKEA Group, announced the winners of the first stage of the MEGA ACCELERATOR project. 197 Russian companies were shortlisted among a total of 500 applicants.

MEGA Accelerator is designed to bring together talented developers, programmers, business experts, retail specialists, designers and marketeers with innovative ideas with the aim to enrich the retail environment and create a more enjoyable shopping experience.

Experts from IKEA Centres Russia and GVA Launch Gurus, a leading start-up and entrepreneurship business, selected ten teams for the next stage of the project, which started at the beginning of March. The shortlist of companies includes SensArt, Texel, Nobel Mart, Instashow, GuaranaCam by Analytica, «Otseni!» (Rate It), KMG Laboratory, Intelligent Solutions, iLoveDonate and ChatFirst. The selected teams will receive three months of project expert mentorship from IKEA Centres Russia to test and develop their ideas. They will be working in a 700 sq.m creative space called PO2RT.

The new PO2RT co-working space is located on the 15th floor of Khimki Business Park owned by IKEA Centres Russia and designed in the IKEA style – offering functionality, simplicity, bright accents and modern features. The teams will work in modern, creative and comfortable working zones, be able to relax in a green zone or take in the panoramic view of the busy highway and airplanes taking off at Sheremetievo airport.

Participants have been briefed to pitch solutions in the following areas: customer communications, automatisation and robotisation, gamification and virtual reality, sustainable retail.

Teams selected for the accelerator will get €5,000 each, and the winner will receive €50,000 to develop further ideas for MEGA shopping centres. The winner will be announced in May 2016.

“We are very proud of the great interest we had from young Russian entrepreneurs and startups for our MEGA ACCELERATOR project. We are looking forward to working together with the teams and seeing the results of their hard work and implement them to our centres strategy,” said Milen Gentchev, deputy general manager at IKEA Centres Russia and director of MEGA Accelerator.