Target Boosting Start-Up Outreach

Target has boosted its Accelerator program, aimed at bringing potential start-up vendor partners into its Minneapolis headquarters.

The company characterized its previous such effort, the Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator, as a success. In January, it opened applications for a second accelerator round focused on technology products that now includes Internet of Things functions.

The program covers a range of potential partners including companies that are now working with the company on an operational basis. In the aftermath of the program’s first round, for example, Target made an initial investment in Inspectorio, a company dedicated to quality inspections for textiles and consumer goods in Asia and South America. Target’s IoT team has been involved in the current accelerator round as the retailer puts more emphasis on connected opportunities.

“Our accelerator experience has only confirmed what we already knew: that working with startups is an important part of fueling innovation at Target, both when it comes to new ideas as well improving the way we work internally,” said Casey Carl, chief strategy and innovation officer, Target.