Accelerator programs are a chance for startup founders to take advantage of mentorship, resources and support to further develop their business ideas on their quest to launch them on a larger scale. Programs like Target Takeoff, Target + Techstars and their India Accelerator Program help do just that — amplifying the reach of new and exciting brands.
The mass retail market can be overwhelming to break into for small business owners, but these three accelerators bridge that gap and help bring high-quality products and services to consumers. If you’re curious about how Target is getting new products on the shelf and new technology in place, learn more about their accelerator programs below.
1. Target Takeoff
In April of this year, ten emerging beauty brands gathered in Minneapolis, MN as a part of Target Takeoff, an accelerator that operates as a condensed retail boot camp that brings together 10 startups to take their work to the next level. Each cohort has a different focus area, as we can see from the transition from the first year’s theme of “better-for-you” products to 2018’s focus on beauty brands.
The program itself consists of a week-long series of workshops led by mentors and industry insiders, including Target leaders. After going home to refine their pitches, they return to Target campus to participate in a product showcase event, which includes pitching their business ideas to a panel of experts and Target leaders.
The Target + Techstars accelerator is a 13-week mentorship and training program that Target created in partnership with Techstars Retail, bringing together 10 retail-focused startups for a summer accelerator program hosted at Target headquarters. In the first month of the program, the startup founders meet with more than 100 mentors (50 of whom are Target team members), through a Mentor Madness event. Those mentors serve as a source of insight throughout the rest of the program. Month two focuses on how to bring an idea or product to market and meet relevant sales goals. The final month is all about Demo Day prep, when the startups learn how to pitch their ideas, get fundraising efforts off the ground and start meeting potential investors.
3. Target India Accelerator Program
Target’s India Accelerator Program is based in India at Target’s India Bangalore office and focuses on Bangalore-based startups. The program is a four-month initiative, where technology startups have access to a variety of resources to develop their business ideas. This accelerator looks at transformative ideas across areas like AI, machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, analytics and digital experiences.
Regardless of what program interests you most, it’s clear that through Target Accelerators, entrepreneurs and founders can engage with different programs that will aid them in further developing their business ideas, guiding them on their path to mass retail. With the help of a strong network of internal and external mentors, Target Accelerators are working to get new brands in stores, innovative technology in place and retail services to guests faster than ever.
And if you’re interested in joining the team behind the bullseye who is helping to change the way retail works as a business, you can check out the various career opportunities in technology, engineering, design, marketing, operations and more are currently available at Target’s offices around the country.
Get to know the Target team by stopping by their booth at AfroTech 2018 and learn more about how you can help shape the future of retail.