Ikea launches startup bootcamp

Furniture retailer Ikea is inviting 20 startups to its campus for a three-month-long Ikea Bootcamp, hoping to incubate the next big breakthrough product right inside its Älmhult campus.

The 2019 three-month Bootcamp will be run by Ikea in collaboration with entrepreneur cooperative Rainmaking. Startups need to apply by December 31 to take part in the program, which starts in March 2019.

“Ikea is hoping to find partners that can help with the big challenges in creating a better everyday life at home for people all around the world, now and in the future,” writes Ikea representative Janice Simonsen in an email to Co.Design. “These challenges include ensuring affordability for the many people, connecting with and being accessible for people across the world, and enabling a positive impact on the planet, the people and society.”

Ikea said it may invest or partner with the most promising startups based on the collaboration and will leverage Rainmaking’s network of investors to support the start-ups’ growth.

This second Bootcamp will be a collaboration between Ikea Range & Supply, focusing on product and supply chain development, and the Ikea franchisee Ingka Group, where the main focus will be on retail transformation for the future, it said.

The retailer kicked off its first Bootcamp in 2017, when 10 startups participated in the program. For its second Bootcamp, Ikea  will invite double the partner startups to be mentored in Bootcamp.

It will provide office space and living accommodations for the companies in Älmhult–as well as cover a majority of travel costs to get there. On top of all that, Ikea is promising not to waste anyone’s time if the program is a bad fit. “The participants will get a first indication of collaboration potential with Ikea after two weeks, meaning they will only dedicate a full three months if there’s a likelihood of partnering with Ikea,” says Simonsen.

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