Why Start-Ups Matter to Retailers

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Why Start-Ups Matter to Retailers

By Joe Skorupa - 02/13/2018

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.” Steve Jobs

Start-ups innovate. They break through barriers. They use ingenuity to overcome obstacles because they have limited budgets and resources. They don’t play by the rules. They crack problems. They are unafraid to assume risk. They fail forward.

We all know about these attributes. Do they describe your company? Consider it a hypothetical question.

Consider it a hypothetical question, but the implications are real. Case in point are these competitive moves that were recently made by some of the top names in retail (excluding Amazon, which has acquired too many start-ups to list):

  • Target recently acquired Shipt for $550 million in an all-cash offer so it could roll out same-day delivery and rival Instacart and Amazon. It also operates a retail Accelerator program to nurture start-ups.
  • Walmart recently acquired Spatialand, a virtual reality start up, and last year acquired Parcel for same-day delivery. Walmart also operates Store No. 8, a startup incubator in Silicon Valley and all of that is comes after it acquired Jet.com in a spectacular deal in 2016.
  • Kroger is exploring the acquisition of Boxed, a start-up for buying food and household items in bulk.
  • Sephora operates Sephora Accelerate, a program to nurture female founders and entrepreneurs.

Announcing the Genesis Award Program

To help retailers acquire start-up attributes to match competitive moves made by Target, Walmart and Amazon, RIS is launching the Genesis Awards program, which is designed to recognize and support analytic technology start-ups.

The Genesis Awards program will celebrate start-ups and recognize a winner at the Retail and Consumer Goods Analytics Summit (RCAS) on April 25 in Chicago in front of more than 200 senior-level executives from the largest and most influential companies in the world.

Companies already registered for RCAS include Walmart, Coca Cola, 7-Eleven, Proctor & Gamble, Ulta Beauty, Mars, Ace Hardware, Hershey, Sears, Kimberly-Clark, Hallmark Cards, Modelez, True Value, PepsiCo, Wakefern, Johnson & Johnson, and Crate & Barrel.

The Genesis Award winner will receive extensive editorial coverage in RIS News and CGT (Consumer Goods Technology), which have a combined circulation of more than 88,000. In addition to a global press release and high-profile pitch in front of RCAS attendees, the top start-ups will become featured speakers in a general session at the conference.

Other opportunities include:

  • Free registration to attend the Retail & Consumer Goods Analytics Summit, an invitation-only event, and get real-time feedback from key executives.
  • The opportunity for a live demo in front of more than 200 top retail and CG executives.
  • Industry-wide exposure of your video through dedicated promotion by RIS News and CGT.
  • A social media opportunity to engage your stakeholders.

Four-Step Contest Process

Step One: Submission (Deadline March 8)

Submit a 90-second video consisting of a short demo or product pitch. A fee of $250 is required to enter.

Step Two: Share (Deadline March 16)

RIS and CGT will upload your video to a dedicated public YouTube page. Share your video and collect “likes.”                      

Step Three: Move to the Next Round (Announcement March 26)

The judging panel will review and select the best concepts. PLUS, the top three videos with the most "likes" will automatically move to the next round.

The fee to move to the next round, once selected, is $5,000. The fee includes two registration passes for RCAS (a value of $15,000). The winner and other top vote getters will become part of a live session at the conference (a value of $40,000).

Step Four: Go LIVE! (Presentation April 25)

Present your solution live at RCAS in a four-minute segment to an audience of more than 200 data and analytics users, purchasers, experts and solution providers in the retail and consumer goods industries. The judges will select the top three finalists and the audience will vote for the 2018 Genesis Award Winner. The top three vote getters will also become part of a live session on the main stage at the conference.

Genesis Award Program Rules and Criteria

The Genesis Award program judging panel will assess each submission for its success in the following areas:

  • Does the solution fill a practical business need?
  • Will the solution lead to real value?
  • Is the solution unique?
  • Is the solution innovative, creative or advanced?

To enter the competition, start-ups must meet the following criteria:

  • In business less than three years
  • Operate as a stand-alone company
  • Annual revenue less than $5 million
  • Fewer than 50 employees
  • Secured no more than three rounds of funding of less than $10 million
  • Offer a solution that gathers, analyzes or uses data in a new way to gain insight, increase sales or reduce costs

To find out more about the Genesis Awards program and RCAS click here.

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