Hyderabad: US-based home improvement retail company Lowe’s Companies through its innovation centre called Lowe’s Innovation Labs is betting big on the Indian startup ecosystem with specific focus on Hyderabad. Through its 2020 Cohort and other partnerships, NYSE-listed company plans to work with 8-10 startups this year and has already shortlisted 30 startups for the second round from the 300-plus applications, it has received.
With India operations in Bengaluru, LIL is planning to work with DeepTech startups in the sectors like augmented reality/ virtual reality, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), computer vision and image recognition among others for the retail space. It has already shortlisted and met 12 startups from Hyderabad and plans to start the four month accelerator programme from mid of April, which might be extended depending on the solution the startups offer.
Speaking about the Hyderabad market and the differentiation the programme offers, Abhay Tandon, Director and Head, Lowe’s Innovation Labs said, “Hyderabad has always been known as a DeepTech hub and the startups applications that we received from the city have been very diverse and mostly in the EmergingTech and OperationsTech space. We also got a lot of applications from robotics, AR/VR, AI-focused startups from Hyderabad. In terms of our programme differentiation, we are stage agnostic with focus on personalised partnerships and help the startups till they scale up operations.”
According to Tandon, startups that participate in the programme will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions, work closely with Lowe’s leaders, build deep retail and home improvement knowledge and have potential access to North American market (GTM), potential paid PoCs, mentoring from functional and technical experts and a host of other benefits.
The innovation lab also plans to work with academic institutions and is looking to partner with International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT)-Hyderabad so as to use their research to develop potential innovative solutions for the company.