Technology is reshaping the retail industry as we know it. The Target Accelerator Program (TAP) set up in Bangalore in December 2013 has been instrumental in helping identify startups in the technology space with the potential to advance the retail industry. Six startups that have been selected for the programme -- Kenome, Point105-AR, Quilt.ai, Moodboard, Eder.ai and Styldod – are working on some interesting projects using cutting-edge innovations like AI, 3D and Augmented Reality. The Target Accelerator Program (TAP) is a four-month-long programme that focuses on creating transformative solutions for the rapidly changing retail environment.
Since it was launched, 30 startups have graduated from the programme. Especially in the last five years, the programme’s core focus has been to act as a testing ground for startups to develop, scale and test their products in a live retail environment, and has played a key role in contributing to the growth of the startup ecosystem in India.
The 16 weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for the teams. First, the teams met with Target’s business partners to understand problem statements to work on and obtain their buy-in on the solution proposed. After defining the problem use case, the teams were able to test the solutions in the real environment and present it to the business partners.
Moodboard provides retailers data-aided insights for understanding trends, accordingly planning for stock and coming up with price strategies. The startup has built the first AI model that can recognise and predict aesthetics. The company is already working with some of India’s largest apparel houses.
The Quilt.AI platform indexes and clusters millions of human conversations and
expressions across public trails including social media, news, blogs, institutional sources, and search engines. Their Machine Learning tools dynamically read each data point for its stated and contextual information. Insights are derived from relationship models that draw connections between people, intent, thought and action at scale.
Styldod’s technology platform automatically creates multiple 3D floor plans of varying aesthetics, merchandised with any catalogue for designers to curate and upload. Their algorithms think and act like a designer – presenting space-specific custom designs, showing alternatives, making suggestions, and more.
Eder AI is a deep tech startup building a distributed computation framework over blockchain as a platform for training, deploying and buying/selling AI models. It has two major protocols – an on-device AI protocol that helps to bring AI to the device and does distributed computation/learning and a secure AI protocol that helps achieve mathematical proof of privacy to protect data and AI models.
Point 105-AR provides Augmented Reality (AR) solutions and has over two years of experience in the domain through Facebook AR studio effects and MaskUp App. The startup was among the first in the world to launch effects on Facebook’s AR Studio platform. Their effects have more than 120 million impressions and 20 million photo captures by Facebook users. The MaskUp App is their reference app with fun and novel AR experiences and games.
Kenome brings years of experience in research in areas such as Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Knowledge Graphs to derive meaning from unstructured data. The company was founded by Partha Talukdar in September 2017, a PhD holder from the University of Pennsylvania and a faculty member at IISc Bangalore who saw potential of value extraction from big dark data in the enterprise setting using AI.