Target Forward Founders is a virtual, eight-week program for early-stage product companies looking to better understand retail. It was created in partnership with founders and key ecosystem leaders to address the needs of historically under-resourced founders. This program offers connections with industry-disrupting founders, Target team members and other cohort members in addition to providing access to industry-leading retail resources and partnerships. You’ll learn about retail channel distribution and have access to Target’s Retail Action Plan: A custom curriculum to help you understand how to scale your business for retail.
Early-stage companies or first-time founders looking to learn how to take the next step toward retail readiness.
We’re looking for future-shapers of all kinds, but there are a few important elements that we want to see from applicants. Final selections will also be made based on team, assortment, innovation pipeline, traction and potential for growth.
An early-stage retail company with an LLC or legal entity.
Selling product in the market with a desire to get on retail shelves.
A product or business that aligns with one of several categories.*
*Companies must align with Beauty & Cosmetics, Food & Beverage, Household, Baby, Over the Counter or Toys & Entertainment categories.
Founders apply online, and selected applicants will be invited for a virtual panel interview. Interviews are not guaranteed.
This 8-week program includes virtual live workshops with industry leading experts and founders. There will be group and one-on-one sessions for 3 hours Tuesday and Wednesday evenings with optional Thursday office hours. All sessions will also be available on demand. A $5,000 stipend will be provided to all participants.
Cohort members leave with a Retail Action Plan, a custom week by week guided plan on how to prepare their business for retail. And as a member of Accelerators Alumni, you gain access to exclusive workshops, office hours with the accelerator team and more.
Forward Founders applications are currently closed.
Check back soon or contact us to hear when our next cohort is announced.
We are looking for subject matter experts, industry-disrupting founders, VCs and more to join us as we continue to educate the next generation of wealth building companies. Fill out and submit your form and someone from our program team will contact you.
When building this program what was most important was to build with founders. This isn't just from the retailer perspective, it's also from the founder perspective.
There's no better time for this program than now. As a founder within the package goods space, when you do look for resources or support, it's very hard to find any.
There is no fee or investment exchange to participate in the program. In fact, Target is providing a $5,000 stipend to reduce the barrier of entry for all applicants.
No! Your idea is yours to keep. We’re just here to help you along your entrepreneurial journey toward growth and success.
By applying and/or participating in any of Target’s Accelerator programs, it’s not guaranteed that Target will carry your product, service or technology. Viability for Target stores will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
No. We’ve intentionally designed the program to be flexible enough to let you participate without disrupting your business operations at your home base. This program will be 100% virtual.
We’re looking for promising founders and startups across many categories and like any other retailer, Target carries an assortment of competitive brands to tailor to our guests unique, ever-changing needs. We’ll always protect your proprietary, private and confidential information. We will never force you to share information with the other members of the cohort.
We will be accepting up to 30 companies for our Summer 2021 cohort.
This program is open to early-stage founders currently selling products who are interested in retail.
Yes! All Target Accelerator programs are open to startups across the globe.