India: ‘If we don’t disrupt ourselves, someone else will’. This is the ideology behind the Target Accelerator Program –  a four-month engagement program – where selected startups get to work with the business teams at Target to develop, scale, and test their products in a live retail environment.

The fifth batch of the program, which will start in Bengaluru in March, will provide startups with the ability to build, test and scale their product to solve a real world problem for Target.  Successful tests can land a multiyear contract with one of the biggest retailers in world.  On top of that services like legal (incorporation, patent filing, etc.) and financial (valuation, compliance and audit, etc.) support, mentoring (business mode, UI/UX, etc.), in addition to infrastructure support such as access to co-working spaces and talent (providing them access to team members for consulting) are all provided for free.

The program has been founded on the principle of giving back to the ecosystem.  The core USP of the program is that Target, and other retailers, may benefit and leverage from these startups’ innovations.  Having access to startups whose innovations offer you a competitive edge is a distinct advantage, and having a corporate accelerator where you can have them build a solution for your specific problems, and test it out before implementation is invaluable.

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The program is therefore designed to help startups validate and mature their product to increase customer traction. The startups also get support with retail expertise, startup mentorship, and funding through the program. The 4-month program also gives startups an opportunity to test, validate and scale their products in actual use cases by working with the right business teams in U.S. and India.

The advantages the startup enjoys are also manifold. Ankit Mishra, co-founder, StoryXpress, who is part of the fourth batch of the Target Accelerator Program says, “Working with Target through the accelerator program was a great experience. It allowed us to interact with the leadership team at Target, and helped us understand the best possible use of our product in retail. This initiative also provided us the scope to make necessary product improvements. Today, we have a lot more credibility while pitching to others.”

Sachin Garg, co-founder of MintM, part of the fourth batch of the program says, “Unlike most large companies, the Target team was agile and approachable. We learnt how a large retailer functions and understood how we as a startup can enhance the partnership. Through this journey, we received a lot of product feedback, which helped us improve our product.”

Registrations for the fifth batch of the program are now open and if you are a startup working in the areas of retail technologies in marketing, digital commerce and core retail operations; consumer products in IOT and wellness spaces; and cutting edge technologies in access, understanding and trust of food, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

You can register for the Target Accelerator Program here.

Source: Your Story

Posted by innohacks