IncuBus Ventures, the late stage start-up growth accelerator founded by Rishi Chowdhury and George Johnston, that specialises in delivering sales and marketing masterclasses, has joined forces Camden Market, which welcomes more than 500,000 weekly visitors to its canal side location every week, to launch a two-storey, 2,000 sq. ft. “Future of Retail store.
The premises, located in the North Yard, will showcase some of the UK’s most promising retail start-ups who are “set to shape the future of retail”, including Incubus cohort members Virtually Reality, who will host the UKs largest Virtual Reality experience on the top floor.
Part shop, part gallery, and part-arcade, the space will also be home to fast-growth retail start-ups including Bodi.me, which will offer free 3D scanning facilities to help shoppers find their perfect size and fit, baked doughnut and “Crone” (an ice cream cone made from doughnuts, natch) proprietor Dum Dum Doughnuts, bespoke luxury eyewear brand T D Kent, Nix&Kix, the range of soft drinks with a unique cayenne kick, womenswear brand REIN, and ZOLA, who create bespoke, limited edition hand crafted fashion and design pieces.
The store represents another feather in the cap for the wider “Future of Retail” growth programme, being “the perfect location for businesses to showcase their products, test new concepts, build case studies, receive market feedback and, crucially, generate more business”, commented FOR Programme Director Luis Hidalgo.
Says Chowdhury: “This will help start-ups iterate on their product quicker, generate cash flow and also implement learnings from the programme.
Camden market, one of London’s most independent, innovative and entrepreneurial areas, as well as one of its most celebrated and populated tourist attractions, especially for young hipsters who love to congregate and enjoy the laid back vibes, has long welcomed small businesses and traders and encouraged them to set up shop.
It therefore seems a smart move on the part of both the Market and IncuBus to introduce ground-breaking products, created by up and coming entrepreneurs, and backed by innovative tech.
The space will be open until the end of September, and using What3Words, the revolutionary mapping app which has recently won £8.5m in funding via a Series B round, you can pinpoint the stores’ exact location.
IncuBus the accelerator began life on a London double decker bus, specially adapted to provide an intensive co-working space. As the business, and the founder’s reputation grew, thanks to a number of pitching events, parties, and several successful start-up cohorts, the team took offices in Camden and London Bridge, form where they run their two flagship programmes, “Future of Work”, and “Future of Retail”.
The bus, meanwhile, is still in operation, travelling the country hunting down the best UK start-ups, by hosting events and joining forces with organisations promoting entrepreneurship.
So if you are planning on taking advantage of the hot weather, or even want to avoid the bad by immersing yourself in an alternate reality – you know where to head.
“We’d almost like to keep the store for ourselves, but it’s just not fair”, say the organisers. Kudos to them for another crafty piece of opportunism that may well provide a new, invaluable and thrilling experience for founders, as well as their customers.