Target, German Wholesaler METRO and Techstars Team Up for International Retail Accelerator

December 3, 2018 - Article reads in
The METRO AG and Target logos with text reading Retail Accelerator Certified by Techstars

The Target retail accelerator program is going global. After three successful years, the Target accelerator program’s fourth year will be held in partnership with Germany-based METRO AG, one of the world’s largest wholesalers and food specialists. And—calling all retail startup founders in the U.S. and abroad—the application process is officially open

Teaming up with METRO enables Target to better reach startups from around the world —the next phase for the Target + Techstars accelerator program which has seen three years of learning, building relationships and pursuing business concepts.

“Target’s portfolio of accelerator programs allows us to test a broad set of external innovations that can further differentiate and enhance our guest experience,” said Minsok Pak, Target Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer. “The partnership with METRO not only extends our reach globally to bring new ideas to Target, but it further helps startups understand how to scale.”

So how will the new accelerator work?

We’ll be accepting applications from startups around the world through Feb. 24 and will kick off the 14-week program early May 2019.

Each startup receives up to a $120,000 initial investment, intensive mentorship from Target and METRO business leaders, and a strong network of Techstars alumni. As part of the immersive experience, all 10 selected startups will spend time at Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis and METRO’s Accelerator headquarters in Berlin. Sessions will focus on how to bring a business concept to market and craft a compelling pitch to support fundraising and business development.

The accelerator will conclude with a Demo Day in August in Minneapolis, when the companies will pitch their businesses to Target, METRO and Techstars leadership, as well as the local startup community and potential investors.

“Our two companies are teaming up to have a programme with a unique feature: giving access to executives and network of two of the leading global players in wholesale and retail,” says Hansjoerg Sage, Co General Manager of Hospitality Digital, a subsidiary of METRO that runs the wholesaler’s Accelerator programmes. “Feedback from start-ups from our previous Accelerator programmes has shown to us how valuable it is to have the opportunity to try out their solutions directly in day-to-day operations and roll them out if they’re successful. With this joint effort, we’re continuing to develop this added value. We aim to bridge the gap between innovation and implementation by attracting and investing in start-ups which have ‘live’ products and first revenues. Overall, we believe this new programme will contribute to catalyzing the evolution of the wholesale and retail sector.”

During the first three years of Target + Techstars programming, we’ve run tests or pilots with more than half of the 30 participating startups—and are still actively working with more than a dozen companies. The program has been an important resource for new ideas from startups that are developing innovative products and technologies for our guests and beyond.

The METRO Target Retail Accelerator, Certified by Techstars, is one of Target’s four accelerator programs, along with Target Takeoff, Target Incubator and the India-based Target Accelerator Program in Bangalore.

Interested in applying for a spot in the METRO Target Retail Accelerator, Certified by Techstars program? Click here to apply (applications close Feb. 24).

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