Start-ups, retail vitamins
Since inception in 2005, Y Combinator financed more than 1,000 start-ups, including Airbnb and Drop Box
Eager to stay ahead in the digital transformation race, many retail players are investing in incubators, accelerators and "Labs". What are the strengths of start-ups? Why are they so valuable for retail firms? Global Retail News investigated on this new phenomenon.
In Europe and in the U.S.A., retailers are announcing new forms of collaborations with start-ups almost every week: incubators, accelerators, labs, etc. In the last months, Media-Saturn from Germany (home electrical products) and Galeries Lafayette from France (department stores) have recently joined the move. The phenomenon gained such momentum that two exciting conferences have been launched: Shoptalk in Las Vegas (May 2016) and Viva Technology in Paris (June). They brought together start-ups and retailers for the 1st time in an amazingly rejuvenating atmosphere, gathering young entrepreneurs and large firms able to provide investment or retail scale. Both events also highlighted an array of hot topics in the retail sector. How is it possible to inject innovation within old and big companies? How can retailers adopt advanced digital services, as technology is not part of their core business? Should all retailers and mall developers have their own Lab or incubator?
First of all, this phenomenon takes various forms. In incubators, large groups provide start-ups with office space and access to professional resources to help them to build an offering, taking a large amount of equity. Accelerators typically require…