Two of the biggest challenges to becoming a successful developer are finding an audience and growing to scale. But what if you could go all the way from discovery to mass market before the summer’s out? That’s the challenge of the Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator, which we’re kicking off today. The winner stands to make $75,000, and gets a chance to work with one of the leading innovators in the retail space. Seven finalists will also be awarded $10,000 each to turn their proposal into a prototype.
The goal: To build a mobile shopping experience that caters to customers who visit Target’s 1,778 stores. When the dust settles, the Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator will show the industry just what kind of magic the future of retail has in store.
Co.Labs, the newest member of Fast Company‘s Co. network, tells the story of the open company, where the best technology ideas are ignited by the community. So we were excited to learn that a premier retailer wanted to open up its own data and infrastructure to set innovative minds in motion around the world. Target will offer API access to each of the seven finalists, marking the first time access has been granted to the public. Each finalist will also be paired with a liaison from Target to help their app fit the Target platform.
The submissions should be native mobile apps, mobile web apps, or another mobile service that extends the Target customer experience in some useful, instructive, or entertaining way. The entries should demonstrate not only a clear vision, but show how they will be implemented technologically using wireframes and plan documents.
Target has outlined four key areas of interest and the winning apps should address one or more of these:
- Social: Enabling customers to interact with one another, or Target
- Education: Helping students, teachers, and schools be more successful, and improving the community
- In-store: Extending and improving the experience within the store, or until the next visit
- Personalization: Catering to the unique tastes and needs of each individual customer