Innovate Manchester recently announced the launch of its news series of innovation workshops, calling on Greater Manchester based businesses to come forward with challenges that require support from local SMEs and academia.


Now, musicMagpie a leader in the re-commerce of consumer technology in the UK and US, is presenting the first challenge to take their latest digital innovation further, faster.


Founded in 2007, the Group has an established presence in the UK, with operations in Macclesfield and Hazel Grove, Greater Manchester, and in the US in Atlanta, Georgia.

Operating through its two trusted brands - musicMagpie in the UK and Decluttr in the US - the Group's core business is to provide customers with a smart, sustainable, and trusted way to buy, rent and sell refurbished consumer technology and physical media products – these include smartphones, tablets, consoles, personal computers), disc media (including CDs, DVDs and games) and books.


The Group sells its products through its own online stores and their mobile application, and through third-party online channels, principally eBay and Amazon.


The Challenge

musicMagpie currently deploys numerous Smart Drop Kiosks in Asda stores nationwide.

This enables customers to trade their mobile phone devices at a convenient location, collect an instant payment through a simple process; most importantly its aim is to prevent e-waste and protect the environment.

The first stage of the challenge is to improve the automatic valuation in the Smart Drop Kiosks, using AI and machine learning, to ensure customers receive the correct amount for their device.

At present, there is a manual dependency on assessing a device via the kiosk, the aim is to reduce the reliance on this resource and increase consistency of the grading.

Once this solution has been successfully implemented, musicMagpie will look to roll the technology out across their other product lines.


The Opportunity for SMEs

Greater Manchester based SMEs interested in providing a solution are invited to express interest in learning more at an innovation workshop on Wednesday 28th September.

The workshop will include representatives from musicMagpie, a select number of SMEs, specialists in this field from GC Business Growth Hub, MIDAS and local universities.

The workshop will comprise of a panel discussion and Q&A session with the opportunity to learn more and speak directly to representatives from musicMagpie.

Following the workshop, musicMagpie will shortlist SMEs to pitch for the project and those selected will receive pitch support from GC Business Growth Hub specialist Advisors and key academics in the field of AI and machine learning where appropriate.


Next Steps

Please click here for more information on the Innovate Manchester programme and eligibility criteria.

To express your interest, please register here by 14th September and submit an outline of your challenge response. You may be asked to provide further information before having your place confirmed.

For more information, please contact Katherine Barr:


MIDAS is the inward investment promotion agency for Manchester, with a strategic aim to secure significant levels of new investment for the city region to create and safeguard jobs. It has helped hundreds of businesses successfully relocate to or expand in Manchester.


GC Business Growth Hub (

GC Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company, helps businesses at all stages of their growth journey with a broad range of services delivered by its experts, as well as public and private sector partners. These services include one-to-one and peer-to-peer business support, events, specialist programmes and funding.

GC Business Growth Hub was launched in 2011 and has helped thousands of start-ups, scale-ups and established businesses across Greater Manchester.


GC Business Growth Hub is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2020, as part of a portfolio of ERDF-funded programmes designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. Eligibility criteria apply. ERDF is a fund allocated by the European Union that finances convergence, regional competitiveness and employment and territorial co-operation.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information, visit: European Structural and Investment Funds: Documents and Guidance - GOV.UK (  


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Maya Powell

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