Belron Head of Digital and Innovative Technology, Nick Burton, is looking to partner with startups and entrepreneurs in a new global accelerator programme to improve operations and the customer experience for the Autoglass parent company.
The glass repair and replacement company, whose technology chief Burton was a member of the 2015 CIO 100 and 2015 CIO Summit speaker, is running a 12-week startup accelerator programme alongside investor and innovation partner L Marks to fast track the growth of startups who will be able to help Belron innovate in a series of areas the business considers key to its strategy.
"Our team is looking forward to learning how entrepreneurs think and approach problem solving, which will challenge us to think and act differently," Burton said.
"And by giving these startups unparallelled access to our brands around the world, along with education and investment support, we can help them accelerate their businesses too."
Teams involved in the programme will be partnered with one of Belron's participating countries - US, Canada, Spain, France and Germany - with whom they will get the chance to trial their products and solutions, L Marks and Belron said.
The startups will also receive dedicated mentoring from the Belron senior leadership and have available a fund of £200,000 from which to invest in participating companies. At the end of the programme, one team will be named the winner of Drive and receive up to £100,000 in follow-on funding from Belron and L Marks.
Belron announced that is was looking for startups that can help it innovate in knowledge and insight, customer experience, productivity and efficiency, new services, and engagement with technicians out in the field.
Burton said: "At Belron the customer really is at the heart of everything that we do. We want to be the world's natural choice for vehicle glass repair and replacement, and we can only become that if we deliver an absolutely fantastic service experience to our customers.
"Starting this Drive programme, what I'm looking for is companies that are able to adapt - maybe something that you've already built, or an idea that you already have - to help us address these areas and unlock a new way of approaching the things that we do to make them even better."
Further information about Drive: the startup accelerator from Belron can be found at www.drivewithbelron.com.