Good things come in threes. After 2 successful seasons and 11 startups accelerated, Unibail-Rodamco, the first listed commercial real estate company, has selected 5 startups for the 3rd season of its business accelerator, UR Link. Read on to know more about how the new players of tomorrow’s retail have been selected.
For Season 3, UR Link chose to focus on solutions addressing the following topics:
- Conceiving and building more sustainable and social places, in line with the CSR strategy of the Group, “Better Places 2030”, which sets the goal to reduce the carbon footprint of Unibail-Rodamco by 2030
- Improving the offer and the services dedicated to retailers and visitors in the centre
- Developing new tools to better know and engage visitors, to provide them with more tailored services.
UR Link Season 3: Exploring New Innovation Frontiers
For the latest season, 5 startups working in very different but promising sectors – from environment to chatbots, but also banking – were selected by a jury of experts.
- Combo uses the power of data to build prospective tools on the environmental impact of buildings under construction (energy and carbon footprint).
- Jam develops a chatbot service using artificial intelligence to help young people make the most of their everyday life. It’s simple: they can chat with Jam via Facebook Messenger to enquire for customised ideas of things to do: bars, restaurants, exhibitions, travels, etc.
- Paylead connects banks and shopping centres to help them better know their catchment area and develop smart-loyalty programmes.
- Phenix helps businesses reduce their waste. The startup brings value to food and other surpluses initially meant to be destroyed. Thanks to an innovative digital platform and a range of B2B services, Phenix provides a second life to unsold items via donations to NGOs, discounts on products expiring soon, animal feed, compost, etc.
- Popsell is an online solution helping brands transform their clients into sellers using a customisable recommendation platform. In order to increase the revenue of brands, the startup animates the community of clients via a scoring system and challenges, measuring all their actions to promote the brand (emails, social media, etc).
Just like for the previous season, the teams of those five startups will enjoy free accommodation at the Mixer, the collaborative innovation hub of Unibail-Rodamco, located in the Paris headquarters, at the nearest of the experts.
End of Season 2: Promising Pilot Projects
The 6 startups of UR Link Season 2 focused on urban farming with Sous les Fraises, urban mobility with Karos, social networks and living together with Spoon (robotics), Merito (recruitment), Transaction Connect and Kairos Fire (data-marketing)
As from January 2017, they had the opportunity to launch operational pilot projects and have tested their products and services in the Group’s shopping centres. Marion Nathan, Founder and CEO of Merito, claims: “UR Link is a great programme to work with the most influential retail actors. It’s a 4-month sprint to deploy and test your solution in a shopping centre and receive a full feedback from Unibail-Rodamco’s top management.”
Just like after Season 1, long-term partnerships are currently under consideration by the Group. For instance, during Summer, Sous les Fraises will open an urban farm in Levallois-Perret, on the roof of the So Ouest shopping centre.