Belron, parent company of Safelite, in partnership with L Marks, announced recently that it plans to run its “Drive with Belron” startup accelerator program for a third year.
The program, which accepts applicants from six continents including North America, is designed to accelerate the growth and global expansion of start-ups whose business models have the potential to disrupt normative work practices and provide improved solutions for the company.
For 2018, the company is looking for start-ups to improve the following areas:
- “Artificial Intelligence: any innovative product or service that can help us improve and automate our interaction with our customers and partners; use data to make autonomous real-time decisions and help support our technicians diagnose damage.
- Making our customer journey even better: serving over 15 million people a year, we’re looking for ideas that make the end-to-end customer journey as personal, seamless and easy as possible.
- Make working life easier for our people: technology to help improve internal systems, process and communication to make the working life of our 13,000 technicians and other people easier to better help customers.
- Transform the vehicle body damage market: ideas and solutions that can transform the motorist and insurer experience when solving a vehicle body damage problem or improve internal processes when completing a body damage repair.
- Wildcard: We’re open to learning and being surprised by what new technologies and different approaches can do for our people and customers. This new category aims to welcome any other start-up with ideas they believe can make a difference.”
Once the applicants have been selected, the company partners them with one of its business units such as Safelite or Carglass, where the startups will then have the opportunity to trial their products and solutions for a 10-week period in international markets.
Following the 10-week trial, the start-ups present their products, as well their findings throughout the trial, in a bid to win an investment and partnership with Belron.
Last year, San Francisco, Ca.-based Blitzz was one of three startups to win a contract with the company as well as a $42,455 USD investment. The company offers a customer-focused mobile platform that deploys a video powered remote assistance and collaboration app to help businesses communicate with customers. The company partnered with Safelite during its 10-week trial.
Locpin, a UK-based startup, was also partnered with Safelite and awarded a contract and $42,455 USD investment from Belron. The company provides address solutions to ensure a business is able to find the correct end-location quickly and efficiently.
Another UK-based company, ThriveMap, was also selected. The company provides a science-based software solution to help companies build better teams, reduce employee turnover rates and identify candidate fits. The company was partnered with Carglass Spain and received a $63,683 USD investment from Belron.