Ahead of Amazon’s arrival in Australia, corporate accelerator Slinghot and retail network NORA have partnered to launch Australia’s first retail tech accelerator.

According to Slingshot CEO Karen Lawson, the 12-week ‘RetailTech’ program will assist a consortium of four large-scale retail companies (including logistics and payments businesses) to ‘fast-track’ the development of new revenue streams, processes and business models by enabling them to collaborate with a cohort of 10 to 12 ‘agile and highly-disruptive’ start-ups and scale-ups and “tap into cutting-edge technologies and ideas”. She added, “Not only will this give consortium members a competitive edge, it will also equip them with an ongoing strategy for R&D.

Regarding the startups that will be selected to participate in RetailTech, Lawson told Dynamic Business that Slingshot is accepting applications from startups already working in the retail space as well as ‘wild cards’, i.e. startups with great ideas that somehow touch – or are on the fringes of – retail.

“Sometime the startups whose ideas are just on the edge are the most exciting and compelling,” she said. “It could be a payments provider or a logistics business or an entrepreneur in the data and analytics space or a product.”

Asked how important initiatives such as RetailTech are in terms of equipping retailers to survive in the Amazon era, Lawson replied, “the timing of our program isn’t a coincidence”. Read more

James Harkness – Dynamic Business – 5 Sep 2017