Retail entrepreneurs and startups are invited to collaborate with Westfield Labs, Macy’s, Verizon and other companies to test new business models that are disrupting the commerce universe. The Connected Commerce Accelerator, a collaboration between Westfield Labs and R/GA, will mentor 10 new businesses and showcase them at Westfield’s Bespoke space in its San Francisco mall.
“There is so much happening within the theme of conversion of digital and physical,” said Kevin McKenzie, Global Chief Digital Officer at Westfield Corp., in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Now more than ever physical retailers are embracing bringing digital into the physical world.” By participating in this program, “we are looking forward to having greater access to innovation around themes like same-day delivery, loyalty, beacons, wayfinding navigation and more.”
R/GA initiated the program to help drive the future of commerce, said Stephen Plumlee, Global Chief Operating Officer of R/GA and Managing Partner of R/GA Ventures. This program will be differentiated from other innovation labs and accelerators in a number of ways. Plumlee told Retail TouchPoints that the Connected Commerce Accelerator will offer:
- A diverse set of partners, in addition to Westfield, including Macy’s, Shopify Plus, Bank of America Merchant Services, and Verizon;
- A global viewpoint, including input from partners in Europe and Asia; and
- Roundtable events, including curated content tracks featuring the startups, partners and third-party experts;
Two-Month Application And Selection Process
Startups from around the globe are invited to submit an application for the Commerce Accelerator between March 11 and May 23. The program will officially kick off on August 1 and run through late October. A Demo Day will cap off the program, offering each startup the opportunity to present to investors and other retail industry leaders.