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John Lewis reveals expert mentors for JLAB technology incubator

John Lewis today announces the panel of external mentors who will advise and judge entrants to JLAB, the retailer's first ever technology incubator. The team of external mentors headed up by technology entrepreneur Stuart Marks* are a highly successful and experienced mix of technology entrepreneurs and investors, including Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners, and Sara Murray OBE, founder of and Buddi.

The full list of JLAB mentors, including John Lewis leaders, is as follows:

- Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners
- Sara Murray OBE, founder of and Buddi
- Graham Clempson, Managing Partner of Quartic Capital
- Dr. Stephanie Hussels, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University
- George Berkowski, Entrepreneur, author of 'How to Build a Billion Dollar App' and former Head of Product at HAILO
- Bindi Karia, Vice President Entrepreneur banking at Silicon Valley Bank
- Shaa Wasmund, Technology Entrepreneur and Founder of Smarta

- Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis
- Andrew Murphy, Retail Director at John Lewis
- Simon Russell, Director, Retail Operations at John Lewis
- Peter Cross, Communications Director at John Lewis
- Craig Inglis, Marketing Director at John Lewis.

The panel of mentors will provide business advice and encouragement to the companies who make it to the 12-week final stage of JLAB - a partnership between John Lewis and Stuart Marks which aims to identify and develop technology innovations that will shape the shopping experience of the future.

The mentors' knowledge and skills will be matched to participating companies so they can provide the most effective and relevant guidance based on their own experiences. The panel will also be joined by a team of John Lewis leaders who will provide further expertise, listed below.

Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis, said: 'The mentors represent some of the UK's finest entrepreneurial minds, and we're delighted to welcome them to JLAB. Working alongside John Lewis, they'll advise each JLAB finalist during the development process helping to tune them to the needs of retailers and providing invaluable insight into making their ideas a success.'

Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur, said: 'I believe a fundamental part of JLAB's success will be down to the quality of mentoring that the companies receive, both from this external team and the John Lewis mentors. Being able to assemble this hugely talented and diverse group of entrepreneurs, is what will make JLAB unique.'

Further information on each external mentor can be found below. JLAB - part of John Lewis's 150 year celebrations - remains open to entries until Thursday 17 April. For more information or to apply, please visit

Source : John Lewis Partnership

14 April 2014
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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