John Lewis is helping to run a £1m competition that aims to unearth and support innovation in internet of things technologies.
The competition is being funded by the Government and the department store retailer has agreed to consider stocking the winning entries in its stores.
The initaitve is being run by Tech City UK, the Technology Strategy Board and Cambridge Wireless and it aims to provide support for small, fast-growth businesses working on internet of things technologies.
The competition is open to all European entrepreneurs and the winners will share £1m of grant funding and receive marketing support and mentorship.
Several businesses are involved. Network provider EE will provide retail and marketing space across some EE stores, along with help with marketing and distribution channels for any appropriate winners.
John Lewis will look into stocking the products, and offer point of sale, business and marketing support and mentoring.
Unilever will also be involved, having agreed to match funding up to 50% for any suitable winners and offer them business and marketing support along with mentorship.
The internet of things is the phenomenon of connecting every-day devices, such as fridges and ovens, to the internet. Technology experts expect it to open a range of opportunities for retailers as consumers respond to the trend.
The competition opened for entries yesterday (Monday June 16) and will close on September 3.