MAPIC launches new retail brand incubator: MAPIC Academy Challenge

In collaboration with Nhood, the initiative’s exclusive partner, MAPIC will support the development of 5 new retail brands looking to open their first physical stores as part of their strategy — offering a physical pop-up space and presence at the event.

Cannes, 06 June 2023 – MAPIC, the world’s leading international gathering of the retail, leisure, food, and tech real estate communities, launches the first edition of the MAPIC Academy for 2023 event— a brand-new start-up incubator competition to support the best niche retail, leisure and F&B concepts in their development.

This new initiative forms the cornerstone of MAPIC’s push to champion exciting retail brands, through the provision of financial and expert support.

The winner of the challenge will be announced at the MAPIC Awards Gala Dinner and will receive a money prize toward their development from MAPIC, as well as a pop-up store provided by MAPIC’s property partner, Nhood. The top five concepts selected as finalists will also receive mentoring and support from a network of industry leaders in Paris in September. The same brands will also be backed by a presence at MAPIC, including a business desk at the event and visibility across all communications channels.

Francesco Pupillo, MAPIC Markets Director, comments, “As the leading meeting place or brands and property players, we are committed to identifying and pioneering truly unique, new brands that break new ground in their respective retail landscapes. MAPIC Academy provides the best new concepts and projects access to expertise, visibility, and development support to fulfil their extraordinary potential.”

The MAPIC Academy journey

The MAPIC Academy Challenges provides fledgling brands a stage to showcase their retail, leisure or F&B concept to the world’s largest property companies—and provides the same industry players an opportunity to discover retail’s most promising breakout stars.

For the first step in the MAPIC Academy Challenge, concepts and brands can apply through the microsite between 6 June and 4 August 2023. Brands entering must apply through one of five categories: retail concept, leisure concept, F&B concept, online retailer, and sustainable and socially conscious new retail brand.

To qualify for the MAPIC Academy the entering brand must be fewer than five years old with no physical locations but with plans to develop one, or a maximum of one physical location and plans to expand into commercial spaces such as shopping centres, retail parks or department stores. The X company must already also be established with headquarters in a European country. Full guidelines for eligibility are available here.

The MAPIC Academy Challenge will culminate in a public pitch to a panel of experts, made up of board members of exclusive partner Nhood, as part of the MAPIC 2023 conference programme, on Day 1 of MAPIC 2023 (28th November).

The pool of retail experts that will selection and mentor the most promising young retail brands includes Pierre Combet, Vice President Real Estate EMEA at Foot Locker; Chris Igwe, Founder at Chris Igwe International Conseil; Philippe Lauga, Owner at Kusmi Tea -Belgium & Luxembourg; Vincent Mourre, CEO WhiteSpace Partners LTD; Cecile Peskine, Partner Lawyer at Linkea; and Mathieu Hercberg, Expert witness in commercial real estate to the Court of Appeal.

To learn more about MAPIC Academy, and enter the competition, visit the site:

This challenge was created in partnership with Agorize, a collective intelligence platform for companies to find ideas, start-ups, students and internal talents that support their transformation at scale.

More information about MAPIC can be found here: 


Ollie Kirman

T: +44 7948 233077
E: [email protected]

Dan Innes

T: +44 (0) 7973387545
E: [email protected]

Helene Leroy

Marketing Director
T: +33 06 17 30 55 96
E: [email protected]

About RX

RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities, and organisations. We elevate the power of face-to-face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors.

RX France manages a portfolio of world-class, French and international face-to-face, virtual and hybrid events covering 15 industry sectors including MIPIM, MAPIC, Batimat, Pollutec, EquipHotel, SITL, IFTM Top Resa, MIPCOM, MIPTV, Paris Photo, Maison&Objet* - and many more. RX France’s events take place in France, China, Italy, Mexico and the United States.

RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people.

RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

*Organised by Safi, a subsidiary of RX France and Ateliers d'Art de France