Apply now to 2023 programs >

Now introducing the 2023 Target Accelerators Alumni Ambassadors! Click the image above to learn how the founders of DEUX, Nopalera, PO’UP! Card Game, Sanzo, and STINA&MAE have leveled up their brands by applying and participating in a Target Accelerators program. Learn more about each of their brands below:

Sabeena Ladha, CEO & Founder | Target Takeoff Food & Beverage 2021

Nostalgic snacks enhanced with vitamins, collagen, & protein — vegan & gluten free too, duh.

Read more about Sabeena’s experience during the Target Takeoff Food & Beverage 2021 cohort HERE.


Sandra Velasquez, CEO & Founder | Target Takeoff Beauty 2022

Mexican botanicals for bath & body. They take their inspiration from the Nopal for its versatility, resilience, and cultural symbolism.

Learn more about how business has been doing for Sandra after participating in the Target Takeoff Beauty 2022 cohort HERE.


Lizz Rene, CEO & Founder | Target Forward Founders Cohort 2

PO’ UP! Card Game is the first Black collegiate drinking card game that will give you nostalgia and make you PO’ UP (i.e. drink)!


 Sandro Roco, CEO & Founder | Target Takeoff Food & Beverage 2021

Sanzo’s mission is to bridge cultures by connecting people with authentic flavors. Our flagship product is the 1st Asian-inspired sparkling water, made with real fruit and no added sugar.

Read more about Sandro’s experience during the Target Takeoff Food & Beverage 2021 cohort HERE.


Mishell Ekunsirinde, CEO & Founder

STINA & MAE is an organic baby essentials and gifting company focusing on capturing the awe moments.


 

Apply to one of the Target Accelerators programs today until 11:59PM CDT February 3rd!

The Target Accelerators team is coming back for its 7th year in a row to provide entrepreneurs with expertly curated education, personalized resources and connection to industry-leading retail leaders, mentors, and partners through its two accelerator programs, each with two cohorts for 2023. Interested founders and startups can apply to all 2023 programs for a limited time on Jan. 9 through Feb. 3 on TargetAccelerators.com. Read below to learn more about each program and what you need to succeed in filling out our application.

the programs

  • The Target Forward Founders is perfect for early-stage consumer product good companies looking to learn and understand the next steps towards retail readiness.​
  • The Target Takeoff perfect for mature consumer packaged goods companies ready to scale into mass retail.

the criteria

In order to be considered for one of the Target Accelerator programs, your company must meet the following criteria:

  • One founder must be 18+
  • Must have an LLC, B-Corp, S-Corp or other US registered entity (Sole proprietorships are not allowed)
  • Must currently be selling a physical product
  • Cannot be a current or prior vendor with Target

Note: Meeting all criteria does not result in automatic acceptance into a Target Accelerator programs.

the categories

Each program focuses on different categories depending on the cohort you are aiming to apply for:

  • The Target Forward Founders program is open to all product categories available at Target except apparel and accessories, jewelry, DVDs, CDs, car seats, shoes, strollers, books, movies, music, video games, bath, bedding, furniture, heating, cooling, air quality, home appliances, kitchen and dining.
  • The Target Takeoff program is open to the following categories for 2023: food & beverage, baby, pet, household essentials, and health.

get the best tips to apply

Our team has put together some useful resources to help you send your best application. We invite you to use these resources

hear from us directly

Want to learn more in depth about how the Target Accelerators programs can benefit you and your brand’s growth to scale into retail? Join our team on January 26th for our Apply, Scale and Succeed: Target Accelerators 2023 Applications Programs Ask Me Anything Webinar for an opportunity to  get answers to your questions and hear application advice straight from the Target Accelerators team.

REGISTER HERE

FAQs

When is the team accepting application? 

The Target Accelerators team will accept applications for Target Accelerators programs in 2023 from Jan. 9 until midnight CT February 3.

When are programs running? 

We will have spring and fall cohorts for each program:

Target Forward Founders Cohort 4: April 25-June 29

Target Takeoff F&B: May 1-June 9

Target Forward Founders Cohort 5: Oct. 3-Dec. 15

Target Takeoff Essentials: Oct. 16-Dec. 1

How long is each program?

The Target Forward Founders program will run for 10 weeks and the Target Takeoff program for 6 weeks. Both programs are virtual.

Is apparel and accessories brands going to be considered? 

At this time, apparel and accessories applications will be accepted and reviewed with the opportunity to be considered, however may not be selected.

How much does it cost? 

Both programs are free for participants, no strings or fees attached. Both Target Takeoff and Target Forward Founders participants will receive a $5,000 stipend.

What days are programs running? 

Target Forward Founders sessions will take place Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5PM through 8PM CT. On Thursdays, there will be office hours with subject matter experts and speakers at times between 9AM through 5PM CT.

Target Takeoff sessions can be expected to run Mondays thru Thursdays from 10AM – 1PM CT.

What if I can’t attend a session? 

Sessions are mandatory by either yourself or a co-founder/employee. If you will be going through the program on your own please communicate any absences with the Sr. Program Manager. Nevertheless, each session is recorded for you to review later on!

 

Our team is so excited to review your application, apply today!

The Target Accelerators team offers two distinct retail accelerator programs: Target Takeoff and Target Forward Founders, where each program was strategically developed to educate entrepreneurs during the different stages of their company’s journey.

  • The Target Forward Founders program is ideal for early-stage consumer packaged good companies looking to learn and understand the next steps towards retail readiness.​
  • The Target Takeoff program is key for consumer packaged good companies who believe their next step is to scale their brand for mass retail and want to learn what it takes.

Still wondering which program is best for your business? Use the guide below to help you make the right call.

 

Want to learn more about the Target Accelerators programs and how it can help you achieve your goals? Tune into our “Apply, Scale, and Succeed” webinar happening on January 26 at 12p CT to learn more and score application tips straight from the Target Accelerators team. Register Here

 

If you sometimes find it difficult to focus your efforts or transform your great ideas into tangible action plans, try the SMART goals approach. This tool has been used by many business management experts since its inception in 1981. It can help you clarify your ideas, use your time and resources effectively, and accomplish more. In short, it’s a great way to start the new year strong. 

Pro tip: When you begin to write your SMART goals, start from the top of this list and work your way down.  

First, make your broad growth goal specific. Rather than “I want to grow my business”, a specific goal might be “I want to increase my direct-to-customer sales and add new channels”.

Second, make it measurable. “I want to increase my direct-to-customer sales by 10% and add two new sales channels.”

Next, achievable. In many cases, this happens automatically when adding measurability. In our example, “I want to add two new sales channels, not 10”.

Then, make sure your goal is relevant. Is this the right time to grow in these ways? Do you have the structure in place to make it happen? If not, you may adjust to “I want to increase my direct-to-customer sales by 10% and hire someone to assist in defining which two new sales channels are best for business”.

Finally, make it time-bound. “I want to increase my direct-to-customer sales by 10% by this time next year and hire someone in the next three months to assist in defining which two new sales channels are best for business.”

Define your next steps 

Once you feel great about your SMART goal, break down the activities and actions you’ll need to accomplish it.  

As applied to the above business growth example, you may need to build up inventory before working on the goals that bring a 10% increase in sales. Or you’d need to write a job description for a new position you’re hiring for. When defining what comes next, it’s a good idea to jot down every step you can think of.  

Tackling next steps with your team 

After working through your SMART goals, you’re ready to define your key partners. Ask yourself: “Who will I need support from to help accomplish my goal?” You could consider buyers, supply chain analysts, marketing support or even friends and family.  

Remember, behind every founder is a great team. Take the time to create an accountability routine to keep you focused for the next 12 months. Provide details on actions to take with investors, mentors, partners/vendors, family/friends and more.  

When you’re ready, get started on your personalized plan and next steps by completing our goal-setting worksheet. It’ll help you start the new year off right. 

Download Our Goal-Setting Worksheet

Sources 
Entrepreneur – What are SMART Goals and How Can You Set and Achieve Them?
Mind Tools – SMART Goals


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Looking to hit “submit” on your application to participate in one of Target Accelerators’ programs? Whether it’s your first time applying for a retail accelerator program or not, we know putting together a quality application takes time and effort – which is why we’re rounded up great tips to help you stand out with a successful application.

Tip #1: Make sure your company meets the program qualifications.

Not sure which program fits your business best? Be sure to review the qualifications of each program carefully before deciding which to apply for. Take a step back and think: “Does my company fit the industry or product category the program requires? Can I participate fully in the program? Can I clearly communicate what value I hope to get out of the program? Does my product fit into one of the categories below?”

Apparel and Accessories: Jewelry, Kids Clothing, Men Clothing, Shoes, Teens Clothing, Women Clothing, Other Accessories

Baby and Toddler: Bath and Potty, Car Seats, Clothing, Diapers, Gear and Activities, Health and Safety, Nursery, Nursing and Feeding, Shoes, Strollers, Toys, Other

Beauty: Makeup, Beauty Tools, Skin Care, Nails, Bath & Body, Fragrances, Hair Care, Hair Color, Hair Tools, Hair Accessories, Spa and Massage, Sun Care and Tanning

Entertainment: Board Games, Books, Electronics, Movies, Music, Sports and Outdoors, Toys, Travel, Video Games, Other

Food and Beverage: Adult Beverages, Bakery, Beverages, Candy, Dairy, Dry/Pantry, Fresh/Produce, Frozen, Meat, Meat Alternatives, Seafood, Bar or Drink Mixers, Snacks, Other

Health: Vitamins & Supplements, Medicines & Treatments, First Aid, Nutrion & Weight Management, Personal Care, Sexual Health, Feminine Products, Allergy & Sinus, Cough, Cold & Flu, Eye Care, Home Health Care, Incontinence, Foot Care, Ear Care, Genetic & Wellness Tests, Scrubs, Oral Care, Hand Soap & Sanitizers, Deodorant & Antiperspirant, Hair Removal & Shave, Men’s Grooming, Feminine Products, Cotton Balls, Pads & Swabs

Home: Arts, Crafts, and Sewing, Bath, Bedding, Candles, Furniture, Heating, Cooling, and Air Quality, Home Appliances, Home Decor, Kids’ Home, Kitchen and Dining, Mattresses, Office Stationary, Rugs, Smart Home, Storage and Organization, Throw Pillows, Vacuums and Floor Cleaning, Window Treatments, Other

Household Essentials: Air Fresheners, Cleaning Supplies, Dish Detergents, Food Storage Bags and Containers, Hand Soap and Sanitizers, Insect and Pest Control, Laundry Care, Paper and Plastic Products, Paper Towels, Toilet Paper, Trash Bags, Other

Pets: Beds and Furniture, Food/Treats, Supplies, Technology, Toys, Healthcare/Supplements, Other

Other: Don’t see your category listed. Email us at accelerators@target.com to see if your company is eligible

If the answer to any of these is no, then you might not be ready to apply9. Visit our Programs page to learn more about each of the Target Accelerators programs, other criteria, and important upcoming dates.

Tip #2: Be clear about your company and product.

Our team uses the responses in your application to determine if your company aligns with our program offerings and objectives. Clearly state your company’s purpose, the problem you address, and the solution your products provide. Also, it’s tempting to select many or all options on questions asking about your business, but that can be a disadvantage based on the program criteria. We are not looking for “perfect” answers but honest answers to ensure a great experience for you and all program participants. If you’re not sure about a term or question, check out commonly used retail language.

Tip #3: Proofread your application!

The review panel can only judge your application by what you include in it so it is important to make sure that what you are trying to communicate clearly comes through in your application before you hit “submit”:

  • Ensure all links you provide are accurate and work. This includes everything from your website, Instagram handle, etc.
  • For essay questions, ensure that you are completely answering the question that is aske,d and that your response is thorough and you have double-checked your spelling. If you are providing one-word responses, you may want to go back and add more context.
  • Have a friend, partner, or family member read through your application to see if someone that is not as close to the work understands what you are trying to communicate.

Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Take advantage of any opportunity to raise a question to the program you are applying for if you are ever unsure about what they are looking for – whether that be attending the informational webinar or even reaching out directly to the Target Accelerators inbox. Remember, your efforts are well worth it as you make moves towards your goals and seek out support from the Target Accelerators team.


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You’ve got a great product and you’re experiencing exciting growth, which might make a distribution partner the next step for your business. The right distribution partner can help you increase sales, reduce costs and navigate challenges in expanding into new markets, as well as free up your time to focus on other business growth opportunities. Read on for essential advice from Len Ellis, the co-founder and CEO of Everlasting Love Fulfillment, and Cora Miller, co-founder and CEO of Young King Hair Care and Target Takeoff Beauty 2020 alumnus, on navigating this phase in your journey.

What is a 3PL and when do you need one?

Here’s another business acronym for your notes: 3PL, which stands for third-party logistics partner. They make sure your products get from the manufacturer (if you have one), to their facilities and onwards to your partner — whether that’s retail, an online marketplace, wholesaler, supermarket, or other channel where you sell your products.

Most founders secure a partnership like this for one of three reasons:

  1. They know fulfillment isn’t an aspect of the business they want to focus on. Founders who need to prioritize learning or working in another area of their business can build fulfillment costs into product pricing from the beginning.
  2. The company is scaling beyond what they can manage on their own, leading them to consider either hiring employees or looking for a 3PL. They consider the combined costs of employees, warehouse space, and insurance, plus the time to make it all work operationally. Then, they compare that with the cost of a logistics partner and often determine a 3PL is their way forward.
  3. They have secured a retail partnership that will require larger distribution. They know that step comes with a lot of added complexity and don’t know where to begin.
Breaking down 3PL costs

In general, you can expect to pay 11-12% of your total monthly gross revenue on fulfillment and shipping. But if you’re selling direct-to-consumer, you’ll only spend about 6% on fulfillment, since your buyers should be covering shipping costs.

Logistics partners should be able to share their costs broken down in a few key ways, so you can compare different companies. It’s also a good idea to ask for general service rates, technology fees, and their fees for shipping costs in addition to retailer standard packaging or shipping preparations. You can also find fulfillment calculators online. It’s good practice to ask a logistics partner you’re interviewing with if they have one so you can get an objective sense of their costs.

How to pick the right logistics partner

Like most things in the business world, good communication is key. Ask potential partners about how they communicate when things are going well, and how they function when things go awry (because at some point, they could). Ask about their order accuracy percentage and if they handle returns. You need responsive partners who care about your business, who can offer guidance and feedback, and help you think through inefficiencies and cost savings, all while being accountable.

It’s also important to consider capacity and culture. Can this partner grow with you as you grow? Do you trust your products are going to be taken care of? And don’t forget to ask about inventory management — let them talk you through their process, insurance, and how they handle any prospective damage.

Top tips from folks who have been there
  • Define goals for your business. If you think about where you’re going (e-commerce, boutiques, mass retailer), it will help you determine your logistics and fulfillment needs.
  • Know your numbers. Break down your average order value and find a price per unit that you can afford for fulfillment.
  • Be mindful from a capital perspective. Are you prepared to take on the costs associated with different partners? Is it going to put your business in a bind?
  • If you’re confused about how to go about the next step, find people you can ask. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask for help to figure out what kind of product distribution makes sense for your business.
  • Reach out before you’re overwhelmed or before you feel pressed to make a quick decision. A thoughtful approach and well-thought out decision will take you far.
  • It’s OK if you don’t find the right fit immediately. Interview several companies until you find one that feels like it’s going to be a home. Changing fulfillment centers isn’t a fun process.

No matter how your business is growing, securing the right partnerships along the way is important. Delegating key parts of the business to experts in those fields allows you to stay focused on the areas of the business you’re most passionate about.

Len Ellis has over 10 years of experience in logistics, and as one of the only Black female owners of a 3PL in the United States, is a trailblazer for Black women in the field. Through Everlasting Love Fulfillment, she is committed to employing and encouraging Black women to pursue logistics, and supporting and fostering partnerships with Black and minority-owned businesses.


Cora Miller and her husband launched Young King Hair Care, inspired by their son, in December 2019 with the mission to redefine male grooming for the next generation of Black and brown men. Cora has nearly 10 years of experience as a leader in corporate social responsibility, program development, operations, and communications.


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This year, the Target Accelerators team had the opportunity to help educate and provide resources on how to scale into retail and provide connections to industry leaders and experts to 90 different businesses and more than 100 different founders. Our team’s goals to democratize this access aligns and supports Target’s REACH goal of spending $2 billion dollars by the end of 2025 supporting Black founders.

This year we invite you to browse the variety of products they carry and explore their brands beforeSmall Business Saturday falls on November 26:

Agua Bonita brings you slightly sweet aguas frescas made with real fruit, in bold & fun flavors. All flavor, no fizz. food & beverage

A Little More Zest is an “all food everything” brand that encourages foodies to craft vibrant meals by offering an indulgent suite of culinary items that amplify the flavors of food with every bite. food & beverage

alternative OATS is founded on the principle of offering a delicious, all-natural breakfast that is not only convenient but keeps you full until lunch. We don’t chase fad diet trends or advertise anything other than what we offer: pure, simple ingredients. food & beverage

Awoo is a female-owned pet accessories brand that is modernizing everyday essentials to better serve pets, their people and the planet. pet

babaLID is committed to manufacturing baby products that are simple, practical, and durable. Its premier product is a bottle that support parents and caregivers to confidently feed their babies at home or on-the-go. baby

Bailan Spice is a food experience company that helps home chefs create beautiful memories with delicious food by offering very tasty all-natural African seasonings with no salt, no sugar, or additives, paired with stories from the African continent. food & beverage

Benny Hancock For Men is a Premium men’s grooming brand designed and developed by a Pro Makeup artist who has developed a range of multi-purpose, high tech yet lightweight products, with a purpose to take men’s grooming to the next level to give men a choice. personal care

Bollygood creates Indian-inspiried sparkling beverages that trasnport your tastebuds to India. food & beverage

Brief Transitions provides seamless, stretchy, breathable mesh underwear for women after childbirth because every mom deserves to have the products and support they need for postpartum recovery. baby

Create and Crescent: Creating American traditions for the Muslim household during the holidays. home

Carolyn’s Krisps are 100% plant-based and 100% ridiculously addictive cookie-crackers. Deliciously dippable and perfectly pairable, they blend the texture of a cookie with the Krisp of a cracker. All our snacks are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free, inviting you to “snack as you are.” food & beverage

Dandylion is a community-powered brand on a mission to clean up the dog grooming category by creating products that put skin-health first and empower the next-generation of millennial dog parents. pets

Desert Moonlight: Beautiful handmade cement candles unique to the senses and purposefully made with your daily rituals in mind. home

Dog & Whistle: Dog & Whistle produces upcycled dog treats and meals. pet

Dope Pieces presents the best in Contemporary, Fine, Urban, and Street Art. Each piece highlights the vibrancy, flavor, and pulse of today’s artists, ranging from the classically trained to the self-taught, to the urban street artist. Our puzzles bring art to life piece by piece. hardlines

ELO: Promoting mental well-being for the next generation through providing parents and caregivers the resources to raise resilient and kind minds. hardline

Emmpeccably Seasoned: Founded in 2019 Emmpeccably Seasoned is here to change the cooking game with delicious flavor and attitude. I created Emmpeccably Seasoned to empower home cooks to channel their inner Gordon Ramsey, with reliable flavor, quality, and a touch of fun. Which is what cooking should be! food & beverage

EZ Doez It potty trainers offers a safer way to train toddlers to use the potty. EZ Trainers(underwear) +EZ Pants (toddler pants) saves money, the environment and your baby’s bottom from harmful chemicals. Going back-to-basics with my product will save our planet 7.6 billion pounds of garbage each year! baby

Famous Falafel Dough: Ready to bake or fry falafel that’s vegan, gluten-free and delicious! food & beverage

Gemini Naturals is a hair care brand that offers a safe temporary hair color solution so that women can avoid the long- lasting, negative effects of traditional hair dye and still feel like their best selves. beauty

Grounded is serving you Cheese made from cauliflower + hemp. 100% Plant Based, dairy free, nut free, soy free, non-GMO, keto, upcycled ingredients. food & beverage

Gwell is a plant-based wellness brand that incorporates functional foods into everyday snacks for people with special dietary needs and food sensitivities from diverse backgrounds. food & beverage

Heart Soul Heat passionately makes small batch 100% American spicy hot honeys inspired by our candy making Mexican heritage. Drizzle it on raw veggies, grilled meats, pizza, chicken wings, fresh fruit, cornbread and even on ice cream. food & beverage

House Dogge is a sustainability conscious lifestyle brand creating products that support the modern lifestyle necessities of dogs and their people in the home, outdoors, and travel.pet

Huppy is on a mission to prove that smiles are better off without plastic and toxic ingredients. It starts with a personal care revolution and it only gets better from there. beauty

Itadi is an Earth informed skincare essentials brand created by ancestral roots and rituals. We have compiled a unique formula using the purest ingredients on Earth from our family-owned farms in Togo, West Africa. ITADI provides an all-natural, safe and effective daily skin care regime. beauty

Jakera & Co: An artisanal collection of wholesome oat & nut spreads inspired by fresh baked cookies. food & beverage

Joe’y is the delicious coffee alternative with a fraction of the caffeine in coffee, a more sustained boost of energy, and morre health benefits than you can count. food & beverage

Josefa: Josefa is the new dulce de leche! A Mexican goat’s milk caramel commonly known as cajeta that is perfectly balanced and sweet. Josefa is crafted in Mexico with all-natural ingredients and in small batches inspired by our family’s 90-year old recipe. Latina-woman founded, Josefa is a celebration of Mexico’s heritage, sweet flavors, and joy of life. food & beverage

JPs Que: JPs Que was founded from our passion for food and flavor. We’ve taken our time to create products we would use and we are proud of. Every formula has ingredients that are hand picked and have meaning. Our goal as a brand is to provide consumers with products that have bold and delicious flavors to enhance every cooking occasion. food & beverage

Jupiter is a full-spectrum of elevated scalp care essentials – with purpose. personal care

KindTail reinvents pet living one design at a time. KindTail carries that approach into to every aspect of the company, as we continue to create pet products that merge functionality with innovating design, resulting in one-of-a-kind products designed with your pet in mind. pet

kisskiss goodnight: Kiss Kiss Goodnight is on a mission to help little ones with sensitive skin develop healthy, resilient skin with our microbiome-friendly skincare. baby

Kittio is a cat-first brand that focuses on research and design to create toys that meaningfully reduce the amount of boredom experienced by cats. pet

KnoNap works to inclusively empower, educate, and advocate against drink spiking. Knope is a discreet, portable, gender-inclusive empowerment tool against drug facilitated sexual assault and crime; Say Knope to Drink Spiking. hardlines

KPOP Foods is an outgoing Korean food brand with a line of chef-crafted sauces and premium roasted seaweed snacks. The company started in 2017 and was acquired at the end of 2021 by Wooltari USA, an importer of premium Korean food products. food & beverage

The Lab Drawer infuses art and creativity into every experiment, allowing students to develop creative problem solving skills while becoming educated in STEM fields. hardlines

Le MONADE is a Baltimore based beverage boutique; crafting up ambrosial artisanal drink mixers, the quintessential collection to mix up amazing herbaceous, perfectly blended DIY beverages, cocktails and more. food & beverage

Let’s Plate! provides plant-based, ready-to-eat DIY combination lunch meals to young school age children, fulfilling busy millennial parents’ increasing need for healthy, convenient lunch options for their children. food & beverage

Look Good, Live Well is a body positive space for individuals to celebrate our innate healing capabilities, and yes … the occasional breakout. The result – healthy, happy, skin! beauty

Luxurious Peace is an inclusively designed ecofriendly wellness brand created to elevate and celebrate people with skin issues and disorders through the use of clean beauty and plant based products. personal care

MABÏ is a modern & healthier take on this Caribbean classic. A combination of that nostalgic and refreshing flavor with other delightful and healthy spices and herbs that give a complex, special character and elevation to this drink. A bottle of MABÏ is filled with natural ingredients only that will make your body and spirit feel good. food & beverage

Mash Up is your next favorite party card brand! Mash Up takes classic playing card games and “mashes them up” with more card games and new party elements to create a whole new party card game experience.

Mahtzee creates chocolate matzah toffee, a traditional Jewish dessert and snack comprised of layers of matzah, non-sticky toffee, chocolate, and various toppings.

MATTIAS is a men’s makeup company committed to providing you with the best possible products, without cutting corners. Bringing you performance ingredient-loaded formulas, free of fillers. Demand better. beauty

Melanin is is an ethnic-focused skincare brand that addresses common skin concerns present in the community of color. We provide toxin-free and organic products that scientifically improve dark marks, discoloration, skin dehydration, and more. Melanin is products empowers people of color to become confident in their beautiful, healthy, and glowing melanin skin. beauty

Milksta offers guilt-free, vegan, and decaf lattes designed to help postpartum & breastfeeding mothers naturally boost their breastmilk supply and boost energy through plant-based lactogenic food ingredients. baby

Mosaic is the number one pet industry leading brand for exotic proteins. Mosaic dog treats are hypoallergenic and are free of any common proteins. It’s an exotic brand that focuses on the overall wellness for pets that suffer from food sensitivities. pet

Mirage Waterless: Mirage is a waterless beauty company on a mission to create innovative, water-activated beauty products designed to add a little brightness to your routine while being kind to the planet.

MySimplePetLab is a tech-enabled pet care company that offers simple, flexible & reliable pet testing. pet

Navina makes wine out of functional herbs and botanicals to create Herbal Wine, an age old tradition the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese and Romans practiced.​ food & beverage

Neale’s Sweet N’ Nice Ice Cream is inspired by recipes of Grandpa Charles Neale who sold ice cream by bicycle in Trinidad, Caribbean in the 1940s. In 2015, his family relaunched the company in North America using Grandpa’s secret recipes to create Caribbean-inspired ice cream flavors like Rum&Raisin, Coconut, Guava, Mango, Pineapple. food & beverage

New Breed Meats is a company who believes in the power of healthy food and education to change outcomes and opportunities. food & beverage

Nopalera are Mexican botanicals for bath & body. They take their inspiration from the Nopal for its versatility, resilience, and cultural symbolism. beauty

North 24th Home is a safe, non-toxic, cleaning products that capture the nostalgia and joy of Saturday morning cleaning. household essentials

Nurture from Nature: Nurture from Nature is an all natural sugaring, skin + body care brand catering to every part of personal care with gentle and effective ingredients! personal care

Papa’s Pops is the only skinless popcorn brand on the market. Traditional popcorn can get caught in your teeth or irritate your throat, but with our unique popping process, we remove the skin, also known as the hull, thus avoiding any irritation. We are certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO and Vegan. food & beverage

PAWKET TREATS is a portable, coin-sized dog treats sold in a roll (think lifesavers, only for dogs). Our form-factor is an industry-first, our Treats are full of functional ingredients to support an active lifestyle, and our innovative Dispenser was the most-funded and most-backed “Dog Treat” project in the history of Kickstarter. pet

Pescavore manufactures nutritious, premium, sustainably harvested and resource-smart seafood products. Pescavore tuna jerky is a first of its kind innovation in the US $3.5bn meat snacks market and brings great taste and nutrition to consumers in a convenient and healthy snack. food & beverage

People of Substance: We are a clean and tattoo-friendly skincare brand on a mission to highlight people’s unique substance. personal care

Phreshly produces Better-for-you handcrafted cocktails in a can. food & beverage

PitPat are the experts taking the guesswork out of dog care. Their multidisciplinary team of vets, technologists and dog-lovers are dedicated to improving the lives of all dogs. The activity monitor, weighing bowl and dog food they offer help pet parents balance their dog’s exercise, weight and feeding. pet

POKS Spices is the American home cook to the West African holy trinity of spices; chili pepper, ginger and onion, via award-winning West African Seasonings. food & beverage

PO’UP! Card Game is the first Black collegiate drinking card game that will give you nostalgia and make you PO’ UP (i.e. drink)! hardlines

Ralphie and Alice is a gender-free, affordable, personal care aimed at re-envisioning consumer consciousness and confidence. beauty

Riven makes oral care products using probiotics to help you achieve a healthier mouth. beauty

Route To India is high energy food inspired by Ayurveda to NOURISH YOUR INNER YOGI. Our passion for Ayurveda and good food is rooted in sustainability. Our social initiative is dedicated to the people who grow our food, making sure that they have access to opportunity and education needed to grow efficiently and sustainably. food & beverage

Rove Biodegradable Paper Soapsheets are papers that disappear into hand soap with water. Our reusable, pocket-sized container of 50 aromatically sudsy sheets are perfect for travel, road-trips, cookouts and when life gets a little messy! essentials

Sach Foods is America’s Original Organic, Artisanal & Flavored Paneer. Small Batch. Ethically Crafted. food & beverage

Sankofa Snacks is a Mission-Driven brand, producing and sharing creative-authentic snacking experiences that celebrate global black food culture, while supporting and building sustainable local food systems. food & beverage

Seal Shoe Cover’s water-resistant outer shell repels water, mud and snow to keep your shoes clean and dry.

Seeds of Paper creates Biodegradable greeting cards that can be planted to grow into wildflowers! stationary

SIPPIN SNAX Gourmet Bar Snacks is a woman-owned company specializing in gourmet beer, wine and party snacks based on flavor popping, authentic flavors. Made to accentuate, innovate and energize established styles of craft beer, wine and cocktails offering the consumer Authentic pairings for at-home or on-the-go enjoyment. food & beverage

Smitten makes beautiful nail art. We create hand-painted & Semi-cured nail polish strips for instantly fun nails! beauty

SOMOS Foods is delicious, convenient and BFY Mexican Food whose three founders grew up in Mexico eating chilaquiles, cooking tacos, and loving our mom’s home cooking. We combined our Mexican heritage and our years of experience in the food community to create ready-to-eat foods that honor Mexico’s rich culinary traditions.  food & beverage

Splattmat Just for Kids is an Arts & crafts company a Childhood Development resource and honestly a Parent Resource and an additional tool that just about every parent with a child of almost any age can utilize. baby

Sweat Cosmetics is the only athleisure beauty brand creating high performance, foundational products at an accessible price point, keeping beauty routines simple so women can focus on their daily hustle. 

Sugardoh is a relaxed body hair care company on a mission to make compostable sugaring paste your favorite at-home hair removal method. beauty

SYDPLAYEAT makes black truffle hot sauces and seasoning salts made with clean ingredients. SYDSAUCE is available in three heat levels and made with real black truffles and organic olive oil for a complex flavor. SYDSALT is a truffle explosion, packed with intense umami flavor and a hint of heat. food & beverage

Tend is the world’s first and only prenatal bar, packing every pregnancy-essential nutrient into one convenient, tasty treat made 100% from real foods. baby

The Adventurous Bartender is a functional novelty gift created to take the guesswork out of mixing cocktails at home is here! hardlines

TheBraidReleaser is a tool that acts as an aid to maintain healthy hair. The benefit would be providing a pain-free, time efficient experience. personal care 

The Got Damn Sauce is a Boutique Sauce company started by Howard Alums who wanted to take the sauce world by storm. With so many flavor profiles we have been called the Bauce of All Sauces and we mean it! The Got Damn Sauce, the name says it all! food & beverage

TINGE: the body beauty brand reimagining beauty inclusive of the body. beauty

Treat Collective is passionate about helping pets live better, longer and happier lives and it all starts with the best ingredients and utilizing Superfoods to power your dog’s health! pet

True Scoops makes shelf stable ice cream and topping mixes. The best part is no ice cream maker is required. Just add half & half, whisk, churn or blend and freeze. Its that simple!!! food & beverage

Vamigas is an ethically sourced, clean, fragrance-free, and affordable beauty brand, created from Latin American botanicals that have been used for centuries by people from Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Perú, Argentina & more. Their mission is to create a space for Latinas in clean beauty and wellness and educate everyone about the cultural context and power of Latin American botanicals. beauty

Wilder Harrier provides healthy nourishment for pets while aiming to have a positive impact on our planet through the use of novel proteins—such as insects and seaweed—which have the potential to significantly reduce our industry’s carbon footprint and offer a beneficial alternative to traditional ingredients used in pet food. pet

4MAS Grooming Inc. is an online retail store that sells our branded beauty and barber supplies, tools, and equipment. They are well known for their patented product named CutBrush, a motorized clipper and brush combined all into one. personal care

50Hertz Sichuan Pepper makes Sichuan pepper accessible and relatable to American palates. Not spicy, its citrusy aroma and delightful tingling numbing sensation will strike a chord with world foodies. Our name 50Hertz comes from a peer-reviewed scientific paper that concludes the sensation is at a 50 Hz frequency. food & beverage

Think big for your business by getting ready for key shopping dates surrounding popular gift-giving holidays. Now’s the time to prepare to rake in your share of the more than $800 billion American shoppers are set to spend in the next couple of months.  

Don’t sleep on these hot holiday season retail dates

Check out the list of key retail holiday milestones, below.

November 

  • Thanksgiving Nov. 24 
  • Black Friday Nov. 25 
  • Small Business Saturday Nov. 26 
  • Cyber Monday Nov. 28 
  • Giving Tuesday Nov. 29 
    (Hot tip: Your brand can show up authentically by sharing a portion of profits with a charitable organization)  

December 

  • Super Saturday Dec. 18 
  • Christmas Eve Dec. 24 
  • Boxing Day Dec. 26 
  • New Year’s Eve Dec. 31 
Prepare for this holiday shopping season now 

To get the most out of the end-of-year peak shopping period, you might need to adjust your typical run of business, spend a more on marketing or experiment with new ways to meet consumers. You need as much time as possible to make it all happen. Consider the following tips to make sure you’re ready for the next two months. 

Map your marketing 

If you don’t know how you’re going to market your business for the holidays, now is the time. Plan and create content for your social channels, and consider paid placements. This is a great time to use email to let customers know about new products, holiday promotions, or anything else you’ve got going on. We recommend you take time now to create all the emails you want to send between now and New Year’s. Future you will be glad you did.  

Adjust operations 

Ask yourself: What might need to change from the daily run of business that worked well last month to meet next month’s needs? Do you need to hire temporary staff? Do you need to add new order fulfilment options, like next day delivery for last minute shoppers? Run through likely shopping scenarios and imagine the best ways to exceed your customers’ expectations.  

Optimize for easy gift-giving online 

Online shopping isn’t new for consumers, but it might be for your business. Ensure that you have easy-to-gift items or curated, giftable packages of your best-selling products for customers who want to share your brand with their family and friends. So, if you’ve been putting off starting or updating your website, consider this your deadline.  

Experiment with experiences 

People love pop-ups. They love to try before they buy or get pampered when preparing to purchase. If your products are a natural fit for any fun or innovative retail experiences (think holiday markets and the like), consider investing and experimenting with new tactics to highlight your brand.  

This season’s data is the secret to bigger profits next season  

For many founders, the holiday season can be stressful, full of wondering what worked, and what didn’t. The only way to learn is to track your data as you go. Mark down new ads, special events or promos you ran, and map them to data from your point-of-sale system. Did you see a jump in website traffic? Spike in sales? Did a new tactic result in more marketing email sign-ups? Which products were best-sellers?  

All in all, this year’s data will help you enter next year’s holiday shopping season smarter, better prepared, and ready to learn even more. Here’s to the holidays!   


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This is a multiple-part interview conducted by the Target Accelerators team. Participating companies have been asked to share details about themselves and their brand after completing a Target Accelerators program.

Need some new staples in your skin care routine? We catch up with Meghan B,  founder of skin care brand Ralphie & Alice, Megan B, about how her business has evolved after completing  the Target Forward Founders program.

TA: Who was the inspiration for starting Ralphie & Alice?

Megan: I am deeply inspired by Gen Z and their drive for positive change and attention to empathy. Their bold behavior reminds me of my grandparents, Ralph and Alice, the primary inspiration for my brand.  The actual inspiration behind our products stems from my auto-immune complications and the hardships I used to face around finding  products that didn’t further irritate my skin.

TA: How did being a part of a Target Accelerators program enhance or change your business?

Megan: Being a part of this program allowed me to better understand the roadmap to entering mass retail. It was like having a bird’s eye view of what it takes to get on to a shelf at Target, what it takes to actually stay there and finally, what it takes to be a brand that shapes the future of our category. Since completing the program, I’ve been able to use what I learned to scale and fine tune our entire strategy.

TA: What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur and what advice do you have for those just starting out?

Megan: There are so many things I enjoy about being an entrepreneur, but most of all, I love the sense of adventure, the entire creative process and I love connecting with our community.  My advice for those starting out would be to prioritize self-care. I’ve found there is power in self-care, setting boundaries, and implementing daily routines. When your tank is full, it makes it a lot easier to give that passionate energy to your brand and your community.

TA: What’s next for you and/or your brand?

Megan: After three years of hand-making our best-selling SKUs, we are finally moving forward with getting things manufactured. This is a huge leap forward that we are very excited about.

We have also been focusing on new marketing objectives for 2023. We see the social media landscape  changing daily and we want to show up in a unique way. We have a few other updates we aren’t able to share yet, but be sure to follow  our Instagram page  to stay in the loop.

TA: Which one of your products is your favorite and why?

Megan: I use the Pop Stix the most. I have one in every purse, bag, jacket, and in my car. But, my all-time favorite product has to be The Wash. It is a face and body cleanser that gently cleanses without stripping and it’s perfect for maintaining a healthy skin barrier. There is no fragrance, and The Washallows me to cleanse and hydrate my skin without irritating or damaging it.

You can find Ralphie & Alice online and on Instagram

about the founder

Megan Behnke is the founder and CEO of Ralphie & Alice. After struggling for years with auto-immune-related skin conditions, she founded her company to fix a gap in the “clean” skincare space. A true tomboy, Megan also struggled with finding a brand with no definite gender identity. Walking down the aisle, shopping online, she couldn’t believe seeing a majority of brands still design and advertise to one gender. This realization and her own clean beauty journey inspired her to create Ralphie and Alice. Megan lives in the northern Los Angeles area and enjoys painting, cooking, and spending time with loved ones, especially her grandparents Ralph and Alice.


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The Where Are They Now series is an ongoing interview series conducted by the Target Accelerators team. Participating companies have been asked to share details about themselves and their brand after completing a Target Accelerators program.

Need a refresh on your sparkling water game? Grab a can of Sanzo, an Asian-inspired sparkling water brand, as we catch up with Sandro Roco, the brain behind the product line and  Target Takeoff Food & Beverage cohort alum.

TA: How did being a part of a Target Accelerators program enhance or change your business?

Sandro: Internally, we’d felt like we were capable of handling an initial Target roll-out. But Target Accelerators gave us additional tools that I, as a first-time founder, felt were so valuable to initiating our relationship with Target. The coaching we received through the line review process was incredibly valuable. And being introduced to various teams within the larger organization gave us a better understanding of the capabilities brands have as well as the challenges that emerging brands face.

TA: What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur and what advice do you have for those just starting out?

Sandro: While there are incredible lows, the highs and the fulfillment of creating something and putting it out into the world are unparalleled. I don’t think I would have learned so much about myself otherwise. I’ve been blessed that this humble beverage company has taken me to places and allowed me to meet people I never imagined I would.

For those just starting out … very simply, founders have to be all in. Especially at the early stage when it is truly just you (and perhaps your cofounder), the world doesn’t know or really care about whatever it is that you’re creating. It takes other-worldly resourcefulness, conviction and resilience to keep going.

“Founders will get broken early and often, and the sooner folks accept that the journey will be long and windy, the better off you’ll be.”

 

Even if you’re in the fortunate position for your company to not just stick around but  see growth, be prepared for that journey to be pretty lonely. There is a lot that you as a founder will have to carry by yourself. Your best friends and family, though they love you, ultimately have their own lives to live.

If after reading all of this, you think you still want to start a business, then welcome aboard!

TA: What’s next for you and/or your brand?

Sandro: Our team has been working on a really exciting collaboration that launched on October 11th. This collaboration is another intentional step in recognizing the larger cultural impact of the AAPI-community and we are incredibly proud to be a small part of big moments for our community.

Learn more about the collaboration HERE.

TA: Which one of your products is your favorite and why?

Sandro: This is a tough question because as a founder, I only launch flavors that I truly love and genuinely believe in! That said, Calamansi has a special place in my heart. Calamansi is often referred to as the “Golden Lime” – the perfect balance of lime with hints of tangerine – and it is a Filipino fruit. As a Filipino-American myself, this is a flavor I grew up loving and is an opportunity to honor my family’s heritage.

Find Sanzo on Target shelves and on social media: TargetInstagram

about the founder

Sandro Roco is a Queens-born, Filipino-American and the founder of Sanzo – the first Asian-inspired sparkling water born to deliver beverages that bridge the gap between beloved Asian flavors (that represent over 60% of the world’s population) and clean, modern labels. After graduating from Villanova University and working at a nuclear power plant engineer for three years, Sandro moved to New York City to work on the trading floor of J.P. Morgan. The seeds of Sanzo were planted a few years later when Sandro was twenty-nine and as head of growth for a men’s styling tech startup, was looking for a new challenge with a bigger mission behind it. In 2019, the first Sanzo lychee cans rolled off the production line in Brooklyn and Sandro hand-delivered every single one of the initial three-thousand cans himself. Since launch, the company has boasted 5x YoY growth, a >30% RPR, and has gained distribution in 3,500+ strategic retail doors.


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