Ever since Localz won the John Lewis’s first ever incubator JLAB in 2014, we have been curious to see who will take our title. On the 24th September John Lewis announced the new winner- Peeple, a smart peep-hole producer. A judging panel, consisting of internal John Lewis mentors and external partners, chose Peeple as the winner. Peeple’s idea was to provide a smart peep-hole that uses home Wi-Fi to alert homeowners when there is activity outside their front door. Other finalists in the competition included: Space Lounges, Qudini, Ikinen and Alfred Smart Home, who also worked hard to impress the judges.
On the 7th October, in an exquisite event on a boat by the Thames, the Localz team was delighted to celebrate Peeple’s win. We were kindly invited by John Lewis, organisers of the start-up accelerator programme together with L Marks. During the award evening, Localz enjoyed talking to previous contestants as well as the John Lewis team that have been working with us over the past year.
The winners, Peeple, are a hardware start-up company offering a smart spyhole. It allows homeowners and tenants to keep track of who might be knocking on their door and who enters or exits the household. By connecting to their home Wi-Fi, the device identifies if there is an activity outside the front door. Peeple then snaps a picture and sends a notification to the homeowner’s phone. The device can even track if the door is opened from the inside. So whether you are expecting a package or you want to know when your children leave the house, Peeple can keep you informed. This simple but brilliant idea appealed to John Lewis and definitely earned to be this year’s JLAB award winner!
Aside from Peeple, there were numerous other contestants in the JLAB 2015 trying to impress John Lewis with their ideas over 12-week period. SpaceLounges introduced a smartphone app where clients can order on demand, receive invitations to live events and search for new products whilst enjoying high-quality customer service. The company wanted to offer a lifestyle rather than just a “coffee lounge”.
Qudini proposed an appointment management system. Qudini uses SMS communication, paper ticketing and digital display interfaces to provide accurate information and personalised updates to enhance the customer experience.
Alfred Smart Home created an app that controls home devices by measuring and improving energy consumption. The company’s main idea is to save money on bills whilst also helping the environment.
The fifth finalist at JLAB 2015, Ikinen, created the Italian designed SolarCover that saves battery life and re-charges phones just with sun power.
This year was different from the 2015 competition. John Lewis decided to invest and support all the finalists even though Peeple received the £100k first prize. The UK Omni-channel retailer believed that every start-up finalist at JLAB 2015 deserved a chance to develop their products.
Localz was excited to join the JLAB Award event and find out more about the participants in the incubator. We still remember how last year we were pitching our idea and hoping to win. Seeing the success and the ambition of this year’s start-ups was also a great experience for us. We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the success of this year’s winners with our our partners and friends at John Lewis.
We want to congratulate Peeple again and wish them luck. Hopefully, we will be back again next year for the JLAB Award Event 2016!