Target Opens New Doors
Target believes in entrepreneurs who dream big. When Target combines the passion, vision and agility of entrepreneurs with Target’s network, contacts and infrastructure, anything is possible. Through Target’s accelerator programs, entrepreneurs like Carlos Moncayo learn what it takes to reach their company’s potential and help shape the future of retail.
Carlos is the CEO of Inspectorio, a global startup business headquartered in Minneapolis that is modernizing and improving how retailers monitor their supply chains. The technology they offer is reinventing the factory inspection process and providing real-time transparency to factory work happening around the world. For retailers like Target, it will help improve the consistency and quality of the products they offer, making it clear where and how they’re made—something guests care about and have come to expect from Target.
When Carlos started the Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator program in 2016, he and his brothers Fernando and Luis, who are also co-founders of Inspectorio, had a minimum viable product and a vision of what they wanted to build based on previous experiences managing a sourcing operation. However, they had limited knowledge of how a global retail operation works and how their platform could complement existing retail supply chains. During the program, Carlos had a unique opportunity to work side-by-side with retail industry experts who shared insights on scalability, flexibility and network dynamics – all of which are at the core of Target’s product roadmap and differentiation strategy. The program helped move Inspectorio to the next level.
After completing the Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator program, Carlos moved his startup to Minneapolis. Target was a lead investor in the company, and now more than 3,000 companies have signed up to use Inspectorio’s supply chain technology. Today, Inspectorio operates offices in Minneapolis, Vietnam, China and Belarus.
Target’s investment in Inspectorio is just one example of how our accelerator programs in the U.S. and India allow Target to work with numerous startups that are developing exciting products for our guests and delivering new technologies that help us innovate our business. As the retail landscape continues to rapidly transform, investing in innovation is key to serving our guests and staying relevant.
While some startups do end up working with Target, the programs are designed to support the next generation of entrepreneurs who can inject a more entrepreneurial culture to our teams and provide insight to new ideas. In return, startups get a partner who can provide retail expertise, mentorship and guidance as they develop their ideas.
Through accelerator programs, startup companies learn to scale their businesses and ultimately bring their ideas, technology or products to market. Since 2014, nearly 200 start-ups have participated in Target’s programs.
Prior to 2020, the accelerator programs took place at our Minneapolis headquarters. For the past year the programs have moved to 100% online to accommodate the circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic required. The program continues to provide the same types of access to industry experts, Target executives and dedicated mentors as they have in the past, just over Zoom rather than face to face. At the end of the program, the startups have an opportunity to showcase their companies through various capstone moments like demo day and PitchPerfect (think “Shark Tank” meets Target) where Target team members, leaders and guests are invited to hear more about the companies, their stories and the entrepreneurial journey of the founders.
Using the Accelerator program, Target is able to amplify the story of the company founder, providing visibility and credibility for their products and services. The accelerator programs not only focus on how the business will succeed, it also strives to support personal and professional goals of entrepreneurs along the way, providing an opportunity to meet and develop relationships with executives and create networks with the other entrepreneurs.
To learn more about Target Accelerators, visit the Accelerator site.