Target is launching a new program called “Target Takeoff” that helps wellness startups and businesses network, meet mentors and talk about retail.
The goal of the program is to “support the next generation of entrepreneurs creating accessible affordable, inclusive and inspirational wellness products and services,” according to the Target Takeoff website.
Founders of 10 startup wellness businesses will be flown on Target’s dime to Minneapolis for a boot camp on May 1 through May 5. After the boot camp, the businesses will have the opportunity to prepare virtually for the demo day that will take place on July 25. Demo day is the opportunity for businesses to pitch their ideas to leaders in retail.
The application deadline is Feb. 28 and the first round of decisions will be made on March 3 with final decisions being made on March 31.
There are a few criteria for those who want to apply. Businesses should have products with a purpose in categories like food, baby, beauty, household supplies and athletic wear that encourage an active lifestyle. The products should also promote healthy living that is accessible, affordable and inspirational to the market they are trying to reach. The product should also have prior sales, either through a Kickstarter or a contract. To be eligible, the company also needs to have raised less than $3 million and it must have a scalable business model.
While Target has been supporting startups around the world in a variety of different programs, supporting health and wellness startups shows that Target still has an interest in the health industry, even though it has exited the pharmacy business. In late 2015, CVS Health acquired Target’s 1,672 pharmacies in 47 states for about $1.9 billion.
Target has also launched a website for startup companies who might want to partner with Target on any pilot programs.
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