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Chain Store Age announces Plug and Play partnership

BY CSA STAFF

Chain Store Age is excited to announce a partnership with Sunnyvale, California-based business accelerator Plug and Play. Plug and Play’s Retail Accelerator has joined forces with leading brands and retailers in order to foster the growth of retail-focused startups during a 12-week startup program in Silicon Valley. A round table of corporations, venture capitalists and industry experts guide the direction of the program.

Plug and Play leverages its partners’ expertise and technology painpoints when selecting startups to participate and when making its investment decisions. Participating corporations include Kohl’s, P&G, Sears, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, Panasonic, The Clorox Company, Hershey’s, Deloitte, and Tesco.

Watch this brief video explaining the Plug and Play Retail Accelerator.

For more information please contact:

Michael Olmstead, Director, Plug and Play Retail
(408) 524-1444
michael@plugandplaytechcenter.com

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H-E-B Primo Picks Quest announces 25 statewide finalists

BY CSA STAFF

The Quest for Texas Best competition is a project of H-E-B Primo Picks, a two-year old statewide program that aims to find the best food and beverage products that Texas has to offer.

Judges whittled nearly 600 submissions from across the Lone Star State to 25 finalists. Submissions came from 128 towns across the state, yielding a mix of jams, jellies, spices and meats. Entries spanned 74 categories including beer, butter, cookies and milk, muffins, Mexican pastries, pickles, sauces and teas.

In two qualifying rounds, H-E-B business development managers judged submissions on taste and flavor, customer appeal, value, uniqueness, market potential and differentiation from products already available at most H-E-B stores.

The 25 finalists are Armadillo Eggs, Briggs True, Crybabies Sweet-N-Sassy Jalapenos, Davis Mountains Nut Company, Deelicious Red Velvet Waffle Batter, Fianco a Fianco, Four Escobars, Frenchie’s Fabulous Nut Company, Fresh. Salsa, Frio Farm Artisan Extract, Habibi Gourmet, Huerta’s Texas Gumbo, The Jelly Queens, Jolly Jack’s Hot Sauce, Kristy’s Toffee ‘N Treats, La Nueva Tortilleria, Marigold Bars, MaxFrut, Savannah Rose Punch, Sweet Heat Jam Company, Texas Hot Salt, Texas Toffee Queen, Vela Farms, Walker Honey Farm and Yardbird Bloody Mary Mix.

During the deciding round August 19 and 20 at the Houston Food Bank, a panel of expert judges will interview the makers of the finalist products to weigh their potential as retail suppliers. In the process, they will examine each item for quality, marketability and readiness for production.

Four winners will receive cash prizes and consideration for a place on H-E-B shelves in 2015. The $25,000 grand prize carries an additional accolade: That winner will be named a "Texas Best" Primo Pick. A first-place winner will receive $20,000, with $15,000 awarded for second-place and $10,000 for third place.

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Plug and Play’s CEO Corner: Rich Wagner, Prevedere

BY CSA STAFF

Plug and Play helps bring together retailers and startups who offer specific technology and expertise that can relieve their pain points. In each issue of our Customer Disruption e-newsletter, we will provide you a brief Q&A with the CEO of a Plug and Play startup, explaining how their company assists retailers in succeeding in today’s disruptive customer environment.

This week’s inaugural CEO Corner features three questions with Rich Wagner, CEO of Prevedere.

What does your company do?
We help companies uncover external leading drivers of business performance to improve bottom line results.

How do retailers leverage your solution?
Retailers leverage our solution in three key ways:

1. Retailers leverage our data and analytics to improve sales and demand forecast across markets for their various products. This insight helps prevent product expiration, over stock and out of stock situations.

2. Prevedere helps companies forecast and plan better for key raw material and inventory purchases, saving millions by purchasing at the right times.

3. Our software helps companies identify the right global markets to enter or exit ahead of their competition.”

What is your background as CEO and/or what lead to the development of the company?
I spent 14 years implementing large ERP and business intelligence systems for Fortune 500 companies. I realized what was missing was a system that leverages external data for companies to better make key operational and strategic decisions and decided to build an application to meet this need.


Wagner can be reached at richwagner@prevederesoftware.com.

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