In March, Belron® launched its global initiative, called ‘Drive: the startup accelerator’, alongside investor and innovation partner L Marks. The initiative was designed to fast-track the growth of startups and improve Belron® operations and its approach to delivering an exceptional customer experience.
Four startups – Sorry as a Service, Atta, Smartcalling and TheThings.io – were selected to join the accelerator and partnered with Belron® Business Units across the globe for an unparalleled opportunity to trial their products and solutions.
During the 12 week programme Sorry as a Service were mentored and deeply immersed in the customer and digital team at Autoglass®. As a result, Sorry as a Service are now developing a platform to provide easy access to information about each customer’s experience and interaction with Autoglass®. With the ultimate goal of delighting customers with a personal touch, Autoglass® are exploring how to leverage the new partnership and implement the Sorry as a Service platform.
Also during the programme, Atta worked with Belron® Canada to develop a gamification app to increase employee engagement – the pilot still has a few weeks to run; SmartCalling worked predominantly with Carglass® Germany to integrate their solution into the Carglass® Germany Android app allowing customers who have the app to be delivered a customised call screen; and TheThings.io worked with the Carglass® Spain team to create a prototype of an in car display device that uses sensors to capture certain information from the vehicle and can be used to alert the owner when things go wrong.
Following a successful day of demonstrations in July from the four startups taking part, Belron® has announced that it will continue working with all of the companies and, together with L Marks, will invest £100,000 in Sorry as a Service.
Nick Burton, Head of Digital & Innovative Technology at Belron®, said: “We’re delighted to be able to continue to work with all the startups that took part in Drive. Each startup has brought a different type of solution that could really make a difference to our business. We’re thrilled to be investing in Sorry as a Service and can really see the potential of their approach and the value it will add to Autoglass®. This has been a really successful initiative; we are really pleased at how working with startups has challenged how we think about, and approach, the things we do every day. We’re looking forward to being a part of the growth of each of these startups.”
Stuart Marks, Chairman, L Marks commented: “Drive has been a very successful accelerator. The quality of the finalists and the relationships built during the programme mean that Belron will continue to work each company and deploy their products and solutions.”