Scandinavian Furniture Giant Ikea Launching First Startup Accelerator For Northern Ireland
Some people get a sense of warmth when they approach the gigantic blue and yellow buildings that we know as Ikea. Some liken Ikea as Disney World for adults. Most people get sucked into an Ikea and stay there for hours, or sometimes even days, There’s something about being able to take a couch, kitchen table and desk home in your Smart Car, that many find appealing. Who doesn’t love putting together 10 foot book shelves with a simple allen wrench?
When you peel back the blue and yellow and the mystique that is the furniture giant, you begin to realize that the Scandinavian firm has developed one of the best well oiled machines in the retail furniture industry. Not only that, but furniture many can’t believe they owned as the enter later adulthood, has a flair and design that’s always with the times.
Design, form, function, supply chain, idea iteration and more are in the fabric of Ikea. That’s why they are testing the waters with a new accelerator program in Northern Ireland. They’ve teamed up with Rainmaking, the British innovation firm behind the region’s startupbootcamp accelerators and the UK’s Rainmaking co-working space.
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. 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.” Alex Facet, Partner at Rainmaking said.
Ten startups will be chosen for the 12 week program that starts September 18th and runs until December 2017. The startups will receive mentorship from Ikea executives, designers and scientists. They will also have full access to IKEA’s prototype shop, test labs and innovation development facilities. The company is looking for startups with the potential to help in three big areas; affordability, accessibility and sustainability.
Startups will receive €20,00 to help with product development. This is a non-equity funding from IKEA. They are targeting startups in Northern Ireland, it’s unclear if global startups, who will self fund the travel, are able to apply. Applications are being accepted here through August 6th 2017.