The third round of our Target + Techstars retail accelerator is now underway at Target headquarters and the fun is just getting started for the 10 retail-specific tech startups we invited to the 13-week mentorship and training program!
The group this year represents an eclectic mix of companies—from teams looking to eliminate food waste to developing AI communication platforms. This year’s class includes: Clicktivated, Cooklist, Flashfood, ProcessBolt, Runerra, Satisfi Labs, Sozie, Staffless, To the Market and Type W.
In the first month of the program, the startup founders will meet with more than 100 mentors (50 of whom are Target team members, including chairman and CEO Brian Cornell and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Minsok Pak!), through a Mentor Madness event—think speed-dating style conversations between business leaders and startups. Those mentors serve as a source of insight throughout the rest of the program. Month two focuses on how to bring an idea or product to market and meet relevant sales goals. The final month is all about Demo Day prep (the big day is October 10!), when the startups will learn how to pitch their ideas, get fundraising efforts off the ground and start meeting potential investors.
In the past two years, the Target + Techstars program has proven successful in creating lasting partnerships between retail startups and Target. We’re currently working with nearly half of the former Target + Techstars companies, including Inspectorio, a startup that set out to reinvent the retail inspection process. Target also invested in Inspectorio’s seed and Series A fundraising rounds. BYBE is another 2017 Techstars alum that enables us to include adult beverage rebates in Cartwheel for the first time. Several former Techstars companies even sell products at Target. For example, we’re proud to offer meal kits from Minnesota-based Local Crate, a startup from last year’s class, in nearly 200 stores.
Target + Techstars, Target Takeoff and our India-based accelerator in Bangalore are all part of a broader accelerator capability at Target. During the last few years these programs have been a source of fresh thinking from startups that are developing new retail innovations and exciting products for our guests.
Stay tuned to A Bullseye View for more Demo Day details in the coming months!
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