Target Has a New Website Just for Startups

October 3, 2016, 10:11 PM UTC
Targets Profits Rise 12 Percent In First Quarter
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Target is looking for startups to help improve its customer experience. And to make it easier on everyone, the big-box retailer has launched a new website.

The Startups-Target website is where early-stage companies interested in running pilot programs through Target (TGT) can now go to submit pitches. Under the “Pitch to Pilot” section is a submission form that takes about 15 minutes to complete, and applicants will receive a response within 30 days. Target is particularly interested in tech platforms that could help improve guests’ retail experiences, according to the website.

The program is not intended for companies to plug products that might sell well in Target’s stores or online, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. It’s more to streamline the communication and collaboration between Target and startups.

Target also hopes the open invitation for collaboration will enhance both its e-commerce strategy and connection to consumers, according to the Star-Tribune, as it works toward becoming an e-commerce innovator.

The program comes after the retailer’s three-month accelerator partnership with Techstars, where 11 startups worked on everything from data analytics to finding “new ways to integrate digital and in-store experiences startups formed partnerships with the retailer.” Target plans to host at least two more groups of startups through this program in the coming years, according to the Star-Tribune.

Although innovative, Target isn’t the only retailer to enlist the help of tech startups: Last year, Amazon (AMZN) debuted “Amazon Launchpad”—a section within the online retailer that helps customers find products that were made by startups. Amazon has also teamed up with Product Hunt, an online leaderboard for tech products, to help customers find the best or newest gadgets available on LaunchPad.

Since 50% of Amazon mobile shoppers search for a product via the retailer’s site or app, bringing new technology to Target’s customers through its app or website could help it mitigate losses in web traffic to Amazon, Business Insider reports.

Target’s push for innovation may already be paying off: the retailer spent $1 billion in 2015 to build up its e-commerce unit and saw 31% digital sales growth for the year.


Fortune has reached out to Target for comment and will update the story if we receive a response.

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