The retail sector is changing rapidly. Digitalisation, urbanisation, limited resources, and new consumer behaviours: the challenges are several. For market savvy companies, startup solutions are inspiring, if not partially disruptive - but precisely because of this, they are highly interesting, especially when considering the future of the industry. For the past two years, the METRO Accelerator programme has been bridging pioneers with legacy industries and has become the centre of a growing community.
At a lofty height, with a breathtaking view over Berlin - this is the perfect environment for innovation to meet industry. Those companies participating in the program deliver solutions in loyalty, data analytics, customer insights, ID management, Logistics, Supply chain, and Payment Technology to name a few. The start-ups, have been selected from France, Germany, Israel, the USA and Sweden.
In a nutshell: The Program
- Duration: 3 months. Start-ups refine and explore potential piloting opportunities.
- Loan: A $120,000 investment on convertible note for each start-up. The founders can either repay the money or convert it into a share.
- Highlight: The teams present their solutions to potential investors and key stakeholders at Target Headquarter in Minneapolis.
All participating startups deliver solutions that challenge the status quo. For example: The Swedish start-up Einride who is rethinking road transport on a sustainable macro-level. The solution is based on autonomous, electric vehicles, coordinated by an intelligent routing software. It takes customer and traffic data into account in order to optimize delivery times, the battery life of the vehicle and energy consumption. In this way, journeys from A to B are planned, executed and carried out as efficiently as possible.
LISNR from Cincinnati (USA) is challenging the way in which devices communicate – their solution transmits ultrasonic data instead of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This tech can broadcast the right data to authenticate shopper identity and safely process payments. The result: a seamless and simple experience for the customer.
For its third retail program METRO has joined forces with Target, one of the largest retailers in the USA. Together with Target, METRO has set up a programme that differs conceptually from the previous programmes. This time the start-ups participating in the METRO Target program are later stage therefore it focuses on internationalization and scaling. In the past, the value came from Mentorship, and supporting Product Market Fit.