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The Broadfield Centre in Cambridge, where Costa’s initiative began

Technology companies pitched ideas including 3D printing and autonomous vehicles to Costa executives last week in a Dragons’ Den-style event to secure investment.

Costa told The Grocer that it had already begun early stage conversations with one of the winning companies, and that it had not set a limit on the amount of money it is willing to invest.

The pitches, which took place at the company’s London headquarters in Holborn, marked the final stage of Costa’s drive to explore what coffee shop technology might look like in 2025.

The initiative began with an ideation day on 25 September at the Bradfield Centre in Cambridge. During the day, shortlisted applicants received tailored support and mentoring from representatives of Google, Amazon, Intel and Cambridge University business school, who selected three finalists to pitch to Costa executives.

“The event attracted an exciting array of startups covering a huge range of exciting cutting-edge technologies including 3D printing, big data and machine learning, autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented realities and speech recognition,” Costa head of international marketing Mags Dixon told The Grocer.

“The event was not focused on improving existing technology. Instead, we wanted to explore the impact that future technologies could have on the way our customers may want to interact with our brand in future.

“At Costa we are committed to inviting customers to discover great coffee and we are keen to explore ways that technologies help enhance this experience,” added Dixon.

“It seems that successful brands are always evolving and looking to understand what customers will need in the future.”