February 24, 2016
Earlier this week, Target launched the first in a series of demo days, aimed at discovering new products within key areas of Target’s business. The demo days will take place over the coming months and invite select startups to meet with Target to show off their products. The goal? Discover new products for our guests that we can bring to Target Open House or Target stores across the country.
Yesterday, 12 startups came to our office near Silicon Valley to pitch their smart baby products. Each company had 20 minutes to showcase their products and receive real-time feedback from Target. We saw everything from smart baby monitors to smart health products.
Gene Han, vice president of Consumer Internet of Things and head of Target’s innovation office, is leading the charge for demo days. “We know that consumers are living their lives more connected than ever and we are working to bring more innovative products to them. Being in San Francisco, my team can find innovative technologies and meet with startups, then connect them with the buyers in Minneapolis to make things happen.”
To kick things off, we turned our attention to the baby department. “We know that being new parents is an exciting time but can also be daunting, and our goal is to come alongside them on the journey through parenthood,” said Amanda Nusz, vice president of Kids and Baby at Target, who also participated in the Baby demo day. “Hearing firsthand from startups allowed us to discover new products that ultimately will give our guests peace of mind and make their lives easier.”
Since opening last July, we’ve been using Target Open House and our San Francisco innovation team as a pipeline to bring more connected or smart products into Target stores. Case in point: Tile, a tiny Bluetooth tracker that finds everyday items in seconds, was an instant best-seller at Open House and now is sold in all Target stores. And the response we’ve been getting has inspired us to do one thing: keep going. So now, we’re going a step further and using Open House as a springboard for the startup community at large.
With our first demo day complete, we’re only getting started. Next up? Demo days for Style, Wellness, Kids, Home and Pets.
To learn more about upcoming Demo Days, contact the San Francisco team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to submit a product for consideration at an upcoming Demo Day, please click here.
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