IKEA & H&M Announce ‘Ideas Factory’ To Mentor Designers & Stock Their Products
By Mikelle Leow, 15 Apr 2022
A rendering of Livat in London, where a specialized store will sell the products of trained creatives. Image via Livat
Swedish design faves IKEA & H&M have formed a dream team to mentor designers and enterprising individuals in London who might need the boost to take their businesses off the ground.
The joint program, called Atelier100, is—in IKEA’s words—an “ideas factory” where creators are invited to pitch potential products for a new store. The initiative will also provide mentorship and funding to help mentees start their businesses.
Concepts of practically all categories are welcome—whether they’re a fashion, beauty, art, or music product. As the Guardian reports, the only ask is that the product should be small enough to fit shelves at a specialized store for incubated wares opening in May. This outlet will be located in Livat, IKEA’s first shopping mall in the UK which opened in February.
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Applicants should be based within a 100km radius of London and submit their proposals to the program by April 24. IKEA and H&M will then select 20 creatives for the first round of the project. The companies anticipate that participants’ existing products will be stocked at the location in May, and that brand-new items developed from the mentorship will arrive in October.
As well as potentially receiving funds of £1,000 to £10,000, designers and producers will benefit from the exposure, sure, but the program is more about educating hopefuls to build a business that can power through into the future. It will assist in areas where each mentee may need help in, be they in finances, packaging, production, or in the legal department.
Marcus Engman, the chief creative officer at IKEA’s parent company Ingka Group and a leader of the initiative, says that IKEA might introduce the program to other cities around the world should this initial run of Atelier100 be successful.
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