Target is usually where you go to spend most of your paycheck. But one Chicago startup is hoping its trip to Target will have a major payout.
Chicago-based AddStructure, an artificial intelligence-powered search and discovery platform, is one of ten companies selected to the Target+Techstars retail accelerator in Minneapolis this summer. They’ll spend the next 14 weeks embedded at Target’s headquarters in the Twin Cities, learning from Target’s retail experts and executives including CEO Brian Cornell, chief strategy and innovation officer Casey Carl, senior vice president of product design and development Julie Guggemos, and chief digital officer Jason Goldberger.
I am stoked to see the energy transfer between Target and the startups
In turn, the retail corporation said it hopes to learn from the startup “pace and work style.”
“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,” said West Stringfellow, vice president of internal innovation and operation at Target in a statement.
Startups will work for 14 weeks out of an 8,000-square-foot space in Target HQ (pictured left). There’s a possibility for further investment when the program is over. Target said it received over 500 applications, double the applications of a normal Techstars accelerator.
AddStructure helps customers find products by enhancing retail search, recommendation, and personalization algorithms. They have three products: Signal Search, Path, and Scaffold.
Here’s a full list of startups joining Target + Techstars accelerator this summer. (Descriptions per Target + Techstars)
AddStructure Based in Chicago and New York, AddStructure’s impressive technology can turn bits of random information into structured data using sophisticated machine-learning and sentiment analysis.
Blueprint Registry This Seattle-based registry startup lets users create customized, shoppable blueprints of their own homes so wedding guests can use them to discover and buy gifts from participating retailers.
Branch Messenger Launched out of Los Angeles, Branch’s strong core team has built software that solves large scheduling and communications challenges for hourly workers; users can easily swap shifts, view schedules and message co-workers, right from their phones.
Inspectorio All the way from Hong Kong, Inspectorio’s team is tackling major supply chain challenges with a mobile platform that guides supply chain inspectors through each step of the process.
itsbyu This female-led company based out of Philadelphia and New York has an innovative business approach to a traditional industry—they provide kits for users to create their very own wedding flower arrangements.
MakerBloks The MakerBloks team, based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, creates interactive games and craft materials to help children learn about electronics, technology and STEM concepts.
MakersKit Also based in Los Angeles, the founding team from MakersKit developed a service that provides DIY craft kits and instructional videos that inspire creativity in all age groups.
Nexosis This Westerville, Ohio, machine learning company turns data into actionable intelligence that businesses can use to improve all aspects of their supply chains.
Revolar Founder Jacqueline Ros, based in Denver, created Revolar’s wearable technology to help prevent sexual assault by sending alerts that can help keep wearers safe.
Spruce Created by a husband-and-wife team – also out of Denver – Spruce offers a men’s style consultancy and barbershop that blends online services with a new kind of physical store experience.
Good & Gather, a concept already underway at Target, will also join the program this summer as the accelerator’s in-house “startup.” Created by the Food + Future coLab team in Cambridge, Mass., Good & Gather replaces traditional food labels with clear lists of ingredients in an effort to promote food transparency.