Media Partners



Introduction to True’s Startup innovator programme


What is True’s Startup Innovator programme?

  • Europe’s only independent retail and consumer innovation accelerator
  • Part of True Group, sitting alongside True Capital, a retail and consumer-specific private equity business with AUM of c£200m


What does True’s Startup innovator programme do?

  • Invests in, incubates and accelerates startup businesses in the retail and consumer industries
  • We see 1,000+ businesses each year - all focused on the retail and consumer sector – and have made 35 investments to date
    • We operate 2 startup intakes per year. Per cohort, we invest in 3-6 out of 250 applications
    • We also receive c15 applications per week from slightly more developed businesses seeking seed capital and acceleration


How does True interact with its Strategic Industry Partners?

  • Partners come to True to secure sustained, pre-emptive access to retail and consumer-relevant innovation
  • True currently has 6 blue chip Strategic Partners – EY, John Lewis, Land Securities, Morrisons, Bourne Leisure and LLX
  • True runs biannual Innovation Immersion sessions for the board level stakeholders of each of its partners. Here we showcase c10 of the most relevant startups drawn from our own investments and from the entire flow of new, innovative businesses we see
  • Our Partnership model includes exclusivity provisions within each industry vertical/geography – ensuring our partners gain genuine edge on their competitors
  • Our Partners call upon us for strategic advice, valuing our independence (we are not an investment bank or management consultancy) and differentiated perspective


In what areas could True add value?

  • We see broad innovation flow across the retail and consumer landscape. To date, c70% of this flow has been B2B services and technology innovation. Specific areas we add value include:
    • Improving the customer experiencing (on and offline)
    • Personalisation – e.g. via email and Facebook marketing (using personalised video technology)
    • Harnessing the power (and cost effectiveness) of social influencer marketing
    • Loyalty – new models in CRM
    • Driving engagement through community and content
    • Increasing efficiencies in retail operations
    • Offline shopability and analytics
    • Latest techniques in customer data analytics
    • Product development & new business models in D2C