Back in July, we opened up Target Open House in San Francisco. The experimental space—part retail store, part lab, part meeting venue for the connected home tech community—demonstrates how multiple connected devices can work together to solve real-life problems and explore retail experiences for this new product category.
Since then, our Open House team has rolled up its sleeves and embedded itself in the Bay Area’s active Internet of Things (IoT) community to discover new thinking and engage startups—an effort that, not surprisingly, led them to Indiegogo, the popular crowd-funding site known for showcasing and supporting some of today’s most exciting new inventions.
Today, Target announces a collaboration with the Indiegogo team. Within Target Open House, there is now a dedicated space that will feature a rotating selection of products that are currently funding on Indiegogo. The first selection will include three finished campaigns and, in future selections, we plan to include products in active campaigns.
“Since opening in July, we’ve learned a lot about the connected home space, products, and Target’s role in facilitating connections. Most importantly, we also know that Target Open House was built to be an iterative model and we’re working every day to build the future experience,” said Kate Whitcomb, Innovation Lead for Target. “Indiegogo is known for unearthing some of today’s earliest-stage innovations. Teaming up with them was a natural next step for the Open House team as we continue to seek out emerging technologies in the connected home space.”
As part of the collaboration, Open House guests will have the unique opportunity to see, touch and experience Indiegogo products that have traditionally only been accessible online. Entrepreneurs benefit as well, gaining unprecedented access to a major retailer and the chance to test their products in person with real consumers.
“For many startups, achieving national distribution through a retailer like Target is the cornerstone of success. But traditionally, getting to that stage has been virtually impossible for early-stage startups,” said Dave Mandelbrot, COO, Indiegogo. “In collaborating with Target Open House, we’re able to provide our campaigners with the unique opportunity to not only be discovered by Target buyers but to test their products with the public in a startup-safe environment.”
The first products to be featured? Oomi, a platform that allows you to control all of your smart home products from one device, Nanoleaf, a voice-controlled lighting kit, and Butterfleye, a simple, smart, wireless home monitoring camera—an assortment curated for you by the Target and Indiegogo teams.
“Crowdfunding is the perfect litmus test for retail because a successful campaign demonstrates market demand, fuels brand awareness and is a testament to the competency of a startup's ability to execute on their marketing strategy. All of which can predict future success,” said Mandelbrot. “Target understands the difficulties startups face in getting their products ready for retail and Target Open House showcases their commitment to helping solve these challenges.”
“When we realized how closely aligned our missions were,” Mandelbrot adds, “It only made sense to start working together.”
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