Target announced the fifth cohort of startups to graduate from the Target Accelerator Program. A technology that makes it easier for shoppers to use self-checkout with fresh produce and an in-store digital shopping assistant powered by artificial intelligence were two of the unique solutions to emerge from the latest accelerator program, said a statement from Target.
The startups in the fifth cohort participated in a Demo Day at Target’s office in Bengaluru, showcasing the products and solutions they developed and refined during the four-month accelerator program. The startups focused on areas including artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, analytics and digital experiences, company informed.
The Target Accelerator Program, which was launched in December 2013, gives startups a platform to develop, scale and test their products in a live retail environment while also accessing Target mentors in India and the US. To date, 30 startups have graduated from the program and worked with Target teams across stores, marketing, finance, legal, merchandising, mobile and digital.
“India has the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, and we’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the very best startups here,” said Rakesh Mishra, vice president of marketing for Target and the accelerator program’s executive sponsor. “Every year we have seen an increase in the diversity of ideas and solutions of startups entering the program. We are thrilled by the success of the fifth cohort, and we look forward to working with more startups through this program.”
In addition to the Accelerator program, Target is looking for innovative ideas from Indian startups for Target’s Open House, a connected-device concept store based in San Francisco. Open House gives consumers hands-on interactions with new IoT products and services, and provides the entrepreneur community a spot to gather and learn from one another and consumers. For the first time, a startup from India, Lumos, was selected to be featured at Open House. The startup was selected for Garage, a platform which serves as an area for companies with products that are still in protoype or early go-to-market stages, to showcase their smart products and get real-time feedback from consumers. Successful products from the Garage may be sold at Open House and eventually at Target stores or Target.com.
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