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Target’s newest start-up accelerator ‘takes off’

Target’s newest mentoring program aimed at start-ups, specifically those focused on beauty, is underway.

The discounter kicked off its second annual Target Takeoff program, a mini retail boot camp that brings 10 up-and-coming startups to the company’s Minneapolis corporate office. Here, they work alongside business mentors to learn the ins and outs of the retail industry.

While the inaugural program focused on better-for-you products, this year the subject is the beauty category. The program, which launched on April 23, features 10 start-ups honed in on natural beauty products, multicultural collections, and men’s brands, among other categories.

“Our guests love to stay up-to-speed with the latest beauty trends and products, and we’re seeing a lot of interest in smaller niche brands,” according to “A Bullseye View,” Target’s company blog.

Throughout the week-long program, the startups will participate in workshops with different mentors and network with industry insiders — including Target leaders from across the company. At the program’s end, each brand will pitch their products to a panel of experts at “Bark Tank” (inspired by Target’s canine mascot, Spot) and receive feedback.

Following boot camp, the startups will return home to refine their pitches and products. Companies will return in late May for a product showcase with Target leaders, the blog reported.

Target Takeoff is a part of the company’s larger retail accelerator program — which also includes Techstars, and Target’s India-based accelerator in Bangalore, both of which focus on tech startups.

To learn more about the participating beauty start-ups, click here.
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