Innovation is an important part of our growth at Target, and that includes opening our doors to new ideas and concepts that might help us make the shopping experience even better for our guests.
That’s why we’ve invested in developing a powerful retail accelerator capability that includes three programs: Target + Techstars, Target Takeoff and our India-based accelerator in Bangalore. Over the last few years, we’ve been able to use these programs to discover fresh thinking and develop working relationships with creative new startups outside our company.
As we gear up to kick off the next round of cohorts, applications are currently being accepted for both the Target + Techstars and Target Takeoff programs.
Techstars is a world-wide organization that helps startups scale through mentorship, growth and fundraising resources. This year’s Target + Techstars program will begin July 16 with 10 new retail tech companies. Each will travel to Target headquarters in Minneapolis, where Target will host and mentor them over the course of 13 intense weeks. The program will culminate in an October demo day, when the companies showcase how far they’ve come.
After two successful years of Target + Techstars, Target is actively working with 12 past participant startups, including Inspectorio, a startup that set out to reinvent the retail inspection process, and Minnesota-based Local Crate, a company that’s now selling meal kits in select Minnesota Target stores.
Target Takeoff is back too, though this time with a new themed focus: It’s all about beauty. We know our guests love to stay up-to-speed with the latest beauty trends and products. Increasingly, we’re seeing a lot of interest in smaller niche brands focused on natural and multicultural products. Given these dynamics, we’ve been working to differentiate our offerings so that guests always have access to a wide variety of one-of-a-kind brands. That’s why we’re connecting with startups to bring fresh thinking to our approach.
The accelerator will focus on programming and guidance that helps the selected beauty-focused companies learn how to scale to mass retail. It begins with a week-long retail boot camp at Target headquarters in April, with continued support via virtual workshops and mentorship. The program concludes when startups return to campus in May and participate in a product showcase with Target leaders.
Takeoff began last May as a mini accelerator boot camp themed by category. The program launched with a “better for you” brand focus that resulted in a handful of products in food and personal care launching at Target, including FATCO, a natural skincare line, and Salty Girl Seafood, a sustainable seafood brand.
Interested in applying for a spot in the Target + Techstars or Target Takeoff retail accelerator programs? Click here to apply for Techstars (applications close April 8) and here to apply for Target Takeoff (applications close March 9).