Target’s Second Class Of Techstars Start-Ups Start Boot Camp This Week

By Kavita Kumar
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The second class of Techstars start-ups has a big act to follow. The 10 start-ups in the inaugural class in 2016 have raised a total of $32 million, one of the largest by any Techstars class within the first year, according to Ryan Broshar, managing director of the Target + Techstars program.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

A group of start-up companies, most that are trying to bridge the digital and physical shopping experience, begin a three-month boot camp this week at Target Corp. headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.

One of the Target + Techstars retail accelerator start-ups is an online tailoring service that receives instructions via text message.

Another company has an app that helps people match their skin tone to the right foundation color. Others use machine learning to do the same for clothes based on your body type and deliver recommendations for footwear based on the shape of your foot.

One wants to come to your home, pick up your unwanted merchandise and take it back to the store for you.

And, unlike the inaugural class last year, the start-ups include two local companies — St. Paul-based Local Crate, which offers a local spin on meal delivery kits popularized by Blue Apron, and Minneapolis-based Upsie, which offers customers warranties for tech products.

Frank Jackman, CEO of Local Crate, hopes to leverage the Techstars program to figure out how to scale his concept to other markets outside the Twin Cities while still keeping true to the meal delivery kit’s focus on using local ingredients and partnering with local chefs and nonprofits.

His company, which launched in November 2015 and has six full-time employees and 10 part-time workers, recently moved to St. Paul from the North Loop to move into a bigger facility where it now has a test kitchen and can film videos.

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