- Target has launched a new website to appeal to startups, inviting them to pitch technology concepts for consideration for possible pilot programs, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The site is rolling out just after Target completed its three-month-long TechStars Retail Accelerator program, which selected 10 startups to work closely with the retailer to develop their technology concepts.
Among other efforts intended to appeal to emerging tech firms, Target has an Internet of Things team in California that has met with more than 400 connected home startups in the last year hoping to have their products featured in Target's experimental "Open House" store in San Francisco.
Is this what you would expect from a major retailer that over the last year or so has eschewed outsourcing technology projects and instead has focused on internal technology management, while hiring hundreds of new engineers onto its team? Well, maybe.
As Target has turned more inward to advance its technology goals, it may have lessened its reliance on traditional outsourcing firms, but that doesn't mean it's unwilling to look outside of its own walls for technology innovations that could help it compete and improve customer experience. that's essentially what it did with the TechStars program, which put startups through a retail boot camp doubling as a showcase for their talents and ideas. Target even announced that it has advanced to a testing stage with one of the startups, AddStructure.
The new website should make it even easier for Target to find startups it would like to work with, or at least would like to take a closer look at. By presenting startups with a site where they can fill out a form to tell Target more about their ideas and aims, the retailer is helping small companies take a step closer to realizing their dreams.
Such startups seeking to build a bond with a big retailer might otherwise be forced to rely on blind efforts at communication or tenuous relationship connections to provide them with random introductions. Instead, the new site lands them on Target's radar, and Target lands on their radar, giving small companies a big fish to focus on as they look to turn ideas and innovations into successful, growing businesses.