TECHNOLOGY

Target shaking up its retail accelerator program

BY Marianne Wilson

Target Corp. is taking its retail accelerator program global.

The discounter said that its Target + Techstars accelerator program, which is entering its fourth year, will now be held in partnership with Germany-based food retail and wholesale giant Metro AG. Target said that by teaming up with Metro it will be able to better reach startups from around the world.

“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, executive VP, chief strategy and innovation offer, Target.  “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.”

During the first three years of the Target Techstars program, Target ran tests or pilots with more than half of the 30 participating startups. The retailer said is still actively working with more than a dozen companies.

The application process for this year’s program, is open, with Target accepting applications from retail startups around the world through Feb. 24. The 14-week program will kick off in 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 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.

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.

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