You know that your offering is a game-changer; an idea the retail and consumer industries need. But you need a helping hand to take things further.

That’s why TrueStart exists. From funding and strategic advice, to getting your idea in front of our stellar contacts from across the retail and consumer industries: we’ll help you evolve and thrive.

Our network is a key part of our offering: from Strategic Partners looking to access the latest technologies and consumables for their businesses, to leading industry mentors, we provide the access that can make all the difference to your commercial viability.

The Winter Collection 2016/17

The Winter Collection 2016/17 is now in the Hub. Over the next few weeks we'll be introducing them to the world. Watch this space. In the meantime, click here to catch a glimpse of what their first week at TrueStart could be like.

Your TrueStart Journey

  • 01 Let's Go

    You start with a two-week induction on everything from branding, to sales and marketing, to financing and pitching. We have our very own entrepreneur in residence, Richard Anson, the founder of Reevoo. He dedicates a day a week to come into the Hub, and will spend an hour with each of you to troubleshoot any problems you’re facing. In fact, all our startups rave about how much Richard can help them with the day to day running of their business.

  • 02 Move in

    Once you’ve taken your desk in our central London innovation Hub, and met your fellow peers, you’ll begin developing and growing your idea or product into something the retail and consumer industries simply can’t live without.

  • 03 Crack on

    You’ll spend four months working on your business from the Hub. You’ll meet senior retailers, potential partners and investors, and you’ll also hone your business pitch and your business plan. At the same time, you’ll grow your network of like-minded people, experts and what we call "door-openers" in the industry.

  • 04 The big pitch

    At the end of your 4 months with us, you’ll kick-start your fundraising activities by pitching your idea or product to a carefully curated audience of investors and retailers at our investor evening held at The Shard. Our last one drew an audience of over 250 and many of our startups had follow-up meetings the very next day.

  • 05 Over to you

    Once part of TrueStart, always part of TrueStart – but you decide whether you want to stay with us in the Hub or move to your own working space. Whatever your decision, you’ll always have the opportunity to attend our masterclasses, fireside chats and pitching sessions to retailers – all of which will contribute to helping you and your business fly. One thing's for sure, however you choose to stay in touch you're always welcome in the TrueStart family.

Choosing our Portfolio

If you have a bright idea, a canny product, or a concept that can help solve complex problems in the retail or consumer sector: you’ve got our attention. We don’t worry about the size of your business, because your product or concept really only counts towards 25% of our decision-making process. It’s the other 75% that really matters, and that’s based on you, your team and the entrepreneurialism, passion, intelligence, drive and commitment you show. You might not know this, but TrueStart is part of True Capital, the only retail and consumer sector specialist private equity firm. We make investments into growing retail businesses so we’re used to investing in large retailers. Our team enjoys daily access to entrepreneurs, retail and business executives, as well as industry experts. Having access to – and continually building – this network is crucial when it comes to leading and influencing a rapidly changing sector. This means we have a deep understanding of the innovation and change in the retail industry, which means we’re able to better understand retail challenges, and ultimately, create opportunities for our TrueStarters.

  • Apply for seed funding here
  • Applications for our accelerator programme - The Collection - are now closed.

What is The Collection?

The Collection is our startup programme and runs twice a year: once in the summer, once in the winter. Lasting for four months, it’s structured to give you the best possible chance to make a real impact in the retail or consumer sectors. As well as offering funding and the customary technical, legal and financial support, you also get to call The Hub your home for four months. Based in Victoria, London, it puts your business at the epicentre of retail innovation. However, what really makes becoming part of The Collection special is the access it gives you to a network of industry heavyweights. That in itself is priceless exposure. If you think your business would benefit from being part of TrueStart, apply to our four month accelerator programme. Applications for the Winter Collection closed on midnight 16/10/16, so keep checking back to find when the Summer Collection applications open.  

Priceless access to stellar contacts

You can have the best idea in the world, but without the right contacts - or "door-openers" as we like to call them - it might never see the light of day. As part of the TrueStart family, you’ll have our support for the entire journey. And when you’re ready, our global industry and investor network will help you scale at pace. Thanks to the years we’ve spent helping businesses achieve their goals, we’ve managed to build a network of senior decision makers of the most influential retailers and consumer brands in the industry. This network will mentor and advise you on the best way to supercharge your business plan and, most importantly, introduce you to the right people within their businesses. Whether that’s the CMO or the Chief Buyer, the CTO or the Operations Director, put simply, if you’re struggling to open a door, we’ll make a phone call to unlock it.  

Where you'll work

You'll be based in The Hub, our 4,300ft2 London HQ, just moments away from the head offices of some of the world’s leading fashion, creative and retail brands.

Who else is in the Hub?

You’ll be surrounded by motivated, passionate, brilliant people just like you; founders and entrepreneurs who all have a dream and the hunger to turn that dream into a reality. As well as your fellow peers, you’ll also sit with the TrueStart and True Capital teams who are here to offer support, guidance and the contacts that could make a world of difference to your business. We will provide strategic direction whilst you run your operations. Then there’s the 200+ retail and consumer CEOs and business leaders who visit The Hub each year to gain access to – and learn about – the early technologies, services and products that can help their retail businesses innovate and stay ahead of their competition. This includes a select group of strategic partners who’ve specifically asked to be part of TrueStart because they see the value of being part of a business that provides the innovation for their markets. These stellar contacts offer unrivalled access to their vast networks and resources. They’ll help you make vital buy-side introductions and push your business towards becoming a commercial reality.

A meeting of great minds

We ensure life away from The Hub is just as stimulating as life within it. We keep a rich calendar of events for our entrepreneurs, investors and partners. Our annual conference about the future of retail – R:evolution – is a key date in the retail calendar and attracts some of the brightest minds in the business. Click here to discover more.

Apply for seed funding