Target offers support to health, wellness start-ups

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is prepping for another program aimed at start-ups, specifically those focused on health and wellness.
 
The new program, called “Target Takeoff,” supports health- and wellness-related start-ups through a “mini-accelerator” effort that will help young companies develop and connect with the major retailers in town.
 
The discounter will pick 10 founders of up and coming wellness businesses, and invite them to the company’s Minneapolis headquarters May 1-5, “for an opportunity to network, meet with mentors, and talk all things retail,” Target said in a posting on its website. 
 
Participants will then prepare for a Demo Day on July 25, when they will pitch ideas to investors and Target buyers.
 
“Our goal is to help founders go further, faster by providing a network of mentors, a cohort of peers, and an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and experience,” Target said. “We want to support the next generation of entrepreneurs creating accessible, affordable, inclusive and inspirational wellness products and services.”
 
Target is accepting applications online through the end of February.
 
The chain made its first jaunt into the start-up accelerator space last year when it launched a retail-focused program in partnership with Techstars — an intensive mentor-driven boot camp of sorts for global start-ups. 
 
Ten companies took part in the initial class last year, and the retailer is currently recruiting its next set of candidates. Target and Techstars will announce the selected startups in July, and host a final demo day at the 14-week program’s close in October.  
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