On an average it takes six weeks and $10,000 to create a motion picture promotional video. What if you could create a video every 15 minutes at a fraction of the cost? This was one of the many innovative ideas presented today at the Target Accelerator Program’s Demo Day. Seven startups - Preksh, MintM, Uncanny Vision, Lechal, Lawbot, Charmboard and Story Xpress, pitched ideas in areas like digital marketing, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
The Target Accelerator Program gives startups a unique platform to develop, scale and test their products in a live retail environment. With unparalleled access to retail business know-how and a community of mentors in India and the U.S., the 16-week program culminated in an impactful Demo Day that saw seven startups pitch to venture capitalists, retailers, serial entrepreneurs and the media. The graduating startups have successfully tested their products across Target stores and its digital channels. The program also provides a platform for Target team members to create compelling solutions. This batch included two internal ideas that were developed alongside the startups.
“We have worked with a broad category of startups and are excited about the initial tests conducted with several of them. The vision of their ideas and the far reaching impact it can have is helping Target stay ahead of the game”, said Navneet Kapoor, president and managing director of Target’s office in India. “Through our accelerator journey over the last three years, we have seen the Indian startup ecosystem mature and are thrilled to see them address deeper and more relevant business problems. We remain invested in partnering with the startups to shape the future of retail.”
The Demo Day in Bangalore comes on the heels of a successful retailer accelerator at Target’s U.S. headquarters in Minneapolis, which was run in conjunction with Techstars. The accelerator programs are being used as a springboard for Target to become more engaged with the startup ecosystem. The Target team in India recently partnered with late-stage startups to provide solutions for other business needs. For instance, UpGrad is providing online trainings for team members and startups to upskill on-the-job, and Blue Birch is solving reverse logistics problems through sustainable solutions for old laptops, phones and workstations.
Target’s long standing commitment to support the communities where we live and work is also being realized through the accelerator program. Target’s team in India is now working with Lechal, who was part of the fourth batch that presented their demos today, to provide haptic footwear to the visually-challenged cricket team from Samarthanam Trust, a partner NGO. Promising to provide ease of navigation, this wearable technology will enable these cricketers to pursue their passion with more zeal.
With a portfolio of 22 startups and counting, the fifth batch of the Target Accelerator Program is slated to launch later this year. Applications can be submitted at: www.f6s.com/targetacceleratorprogram.