At a culminating Demo Day event last night in Minneapolis, half of the retail-focused startups that participated in the Target + Techstars retail accelerator announced they have formal agreements to test and pilot their products and services with Target.
“Our latest Techstars cohort has developed a number of interesting concepts we’re excited to test and explore further,” said Minsok Pak, Target Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer. “Our growing portfolio of accelerator programs helps Target test early-stage outside innovations that can enhance our guest experience with exciting new products and technologies.”
The six startups that have formal agreements in place to work with Target include:
- Clicktivated, an immersive, interactive platform that allows consumers to shop clickable video. Clicktivated is currently working with Target to test shoppable videos on Target.com.
- Cooklist, an app that shows customers recipes they can cook with the groceries they already have, and transforms the grocery shopping experience by enabling users to shop by recipe instead of products. In early 2019, Cooklist users will be able to order eligible groceries through Target.
- Flashfood, a mobile app that connects grocers’ surplus food to consumers. It will launch a pilot at several Minnesota Target stores in 2018 with the aim of reducing food waste and will open a U.S. office in Minneapolis.
- Runerra, a platform that makes it possible for locals to run errands for their neighbors by shopping at nearby retailers. Target will be their first “sponsored runs” partner, covering the delivery fees for 200 Runerra users who place orders at Target's Dinkytown store in Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota college campus.
- Satisfi Labs, a software as a service answer engine platform that helps retailers and brands provide real-time answers to consumers. Satisfi is working with Target to test their answer engine in select stores in early 2019.
- Sozie, a company that matches shoppers with the same body shape and style from different social circles to share outfits, shop together and help them evaluate how clothes will look on them. Sozie is working with Target to integrate user-generated content from their platform into select product reviews on Target.com.
For 13 weeks this summer, 10 retail-specific tech startups relocated to Target HQ as part of the third Target + Techstars retail accelerator. During their time in Minneapolis, startup founders from Clicktivated, Cooklist, Flashfood, ProcessBolt, Runerra, Satisfi Labs, Sozie, Staffless, To the Market and Type W learned from and worked alongside more than 100 mentors, half of whom were from Target, including chairman and CEO Brian Cornell and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Minsok Pak.Classroom-style sessions focused on further developing business ideas and bringing them to market. Startups also learned how to pitch their ideas and get fundraising efforts off the ground.
Target continues to work with nearly half of the past Target + Techstars program participants, including Inspectorio, a startup that’s focused on bringing greater transparency and real-time data to the supply chain, and Minnesota-based Local Crate, a company that’s selling meal kits in more than 100 Target stores.
Target’s portfolio of four accelerator programs—Target + Techstars, Target Takeoff, the India-based Target Accelerator Program and the recently announced Target Incubator—provide a platform to discover new ideas and fresh thinking from startups as Target looks to differentiate its assortment and create an even better experience for guests.
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