March 7, 2013, 10:08 AM

Target offers $75,000 for a new m-commerce design

The winner of a new contest will inspire Target’s next mobile site and app.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Chain retailer Target Corp. and online business and technology media company Fast Company are sponsoring the Retail Accelerator contest, where developers will vie to create a new mobile commerce site and smartphone app for Target or create a design that can be implemented across Target’s existing m-commerce site and mobile app. The grand prize is $75,000.

The two companies will launch the contest tomorrow in concert with Target’s sponsorship of the Fast Company Grill, a restaurant, lounge and arcade in Austin that will operate for five days in conjunction with the  South by Southwest conference that features music, film and discussions of digital technology. Target and Fast Company partnered to create the Retail Accelerator challenge to foster technological innovations that are reshaping the retail industry, the companies say.

“Innovation is core to Target’s culture and strategy, and we are always looking for new ideas to enhance the shopping experience for our guests,” says Casey Carl, Target’s president of multichannel and senior vice president of enterprise strategy. “We can’t wait to see what the developer community brings to the table through the Retail Accelerator.”

Entries for the Retail Accelerator challenge will be accepted through April 30. Seven finalists will be selected in May by a panel of judges including Target and Fast Company executives as well as industry experts to be named at a later date. Each finalist will receive $10,000 to put toward development of their prototypes. The finalists will then build and present refined prototypes, and in July the companies will announce a winner who will receive the $75,000 grand prize. Target will then work to bring the winning idea to life.

Entrants in the Retail Accelerator contest will be charged with demonstrating their full vision for creating a mobile app and a mobile web site or a mobile design that can be integrated into Target’s existing site and app. The mobile design should incorporate at least one of these Target priorities: social, in-store, personalization or education.

Target, No. 34 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400, operates 1,778 stores across the United States, Target.com, and an m-commerce site and mobile apps. The company plans to open its first stores in Canada this year.

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