Last year, Target learned about a start-up called Cosmic Cart, an online tool that lets you make purchases or add items to your cart from multiple retailers, making online shopping much easier. (Imagine seeing an outfit on a fashion blog or on Pinterest and being able to buy the whole thing right there—no leaving the page over and over to find and buy each item.)
While Cosmic Cart makes shopping simple, it also gives online publishers a new way to create revenue.
Target loved the concept enough to become a retail partner and an investor, and even served as an “accelerator” for Cosmic Cart by having founder Alex Adelman and his team work out of Target’s Minneapolis headquarters for three months last fall. The startup spirit was alive and well: While negotiations were underway, the Cosmic Cart team moved from Omaha to Minneapolis, where they temporarily set up house at a local youth hostel.
Cosmic Cart had access to Target’s varied resources—over those three months they worked with Target’s Rapid Accelerated Development (RAD) team and met with Target execs who introduced Cosmic Cart to major blogger networks.
It all paid off when Cosmic Cart was chosen from hundreds of applicants to be part of this year’s “Startup Battlefield” at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference earlier this month in New York. Cosmic Cart and 26 other startups took the stage and had six minutes to pitch their company to a panel of judges. Judges for the six finalists included Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and executives from major venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
The conference is a big deal in the tech world. “I’ve been applying [to TechCrunch Disrupt] for a couple years now,” says Adelman. “To be on a stage like this and to get to say we have launch partners like Target—it’s huge for us.”
Cosmic Cart has partnered with fashion blogger Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific and will soon have a host of other blog partners. Items available for Cosmic Cart will feature a small icon that lets you know you can add that item to your cart or purchase it right then.
Cosmic Cart has also created a Target-dedicated product so Target can eventually offer a Cosmic Cart shopping experience from Target’s own online and social channels.