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There’s just about a week to go. The closing date for applications to Belron’s global accelerator programme is almost upon us with the deadline of Sunday January 29.

The ‘Drive with Belron’ startup accelerator is a 10-week program that is inviting startups from various fields to join Belron and investment firm L Marks in developing new innovative products and services that can improve Belron’s operations globally.

Several applicant startups will be selected to take part in a pitch day in March where five startups will be chosen for the 10-week programme kicking off in April.

Startups that join the accelerator will be paired up with one of Belron’s businesses to develop, grow, and fine tune their ideas with the help of expert mentors along with free desk space at Belron’s head office in the UK.

Participants will have a unique opportunity to trial their product in a global market.

Belron and L Marks have also launched a £200,000 fund to invest in some of the programme’s standout startups.

The accelerator is looking for innovative startups in five different areas: Customer Conversion, Service Experience, Capability and Engagement, Supporting Insurers, and Digital Problem Solving.

Belron is keen to find startups that can improve how customers interact with Belron and improve how its insurance partners handle claims as well as make day-to-day operations like vehicle glass repair and replacement more efficient.

The first Drive accelerator last year saw 25 startups pitch their ideas to Belron and L Marks. The four finalists – Atta, Sorry as a Service, Smart Calling, and TheThings.io – went on to partner with Belron businesses in Europe and Canada. Ultimately, Belron and L Marks invested £100,000 in London’s Sorry as a Service, a customer complaints management platform, which worked with Autoglass in the UK.

“For 2017 I am anticipating that things will move up a notch. Improvements in technology are increasing at a rapid pace and capabilities that only a few years ago seemed like science fiction, are now becoming mainstream,” said Belron’s head of digital and innovation, Nick Burton.

“So I’m hoping to see great examples of machine learning, artificial intelligence, new ways of interacting with customers and my colleagues across the business, and truly innovative approaches to using data that can help do what we do even better.”

Click here to apply before the closing date of January 29.