Target (NYSE:TGT) issued a call for submissions to its first Techstars accelerator program last October and received more than 500 entries. That list has now been narrowed down to 10 startups which will now take up residence at Target headquarters in Minneapolis.
"We received twice as many applications as a typical Techstars accelerators. It really blew us away," said West Stringfellow, vice president of internal innovation and operations at Target. "Having worked in and with startups for most of my career, I am stoked to see the energy transfer between Target and the startups: Target empowering the startups with our expertise and the startups infusing their passion, energy and focus into Target."
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Founders from each of the startups will begin a rigorous 14-week accelerator program as of next week. Each will receive guidance and be mentored by Target executives including chairman and CEO Brian Cornell; chief strategy and innovation officer Casey Carl; SVP of product design and development Julie Guggemos; and chief digital officer Jason Goldberger.
Target said it also hopes to learn skills from the startups in residence surrounding issues of work style.
The startups bring technology that helps solve supply chain issues, perform data compilation and analysis, and improve employee scheduling with a mobile program.
Several have customer-facing businesses that help create DIY crafts, make interactive games, and provide added value to gift registries. One accelerator participant even focuses on style for men and a barbershop that blends the online and in-store experience.
The companies will begin June 20 and take up residence in an 8,000-sq.-ft. accelerator space built inside Target's headquarters.
- see the complete list at A Bullseye View
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