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Target Tapping Retail Innovators

Target has received more than 500 applications from retail innovation start-ups looking to join its new in-house accelerator program.

The joint initiative, formed with Boulder, Colo.-based incubator Techstars, put the call out last fall for young companies that can bring new approaches to retail functions, such as supply chain and data analytics, and can find new ways to integrate the digital and in-store experiences.

In return, the businesses will be offered investment capital, guidance from Target execs, and access to Techstars’ network of entrepreneurs, investors and advisers.

Applications arrived from as far away as Greece, Nigeria and Australia and included such suggestions as virtual fitting rooms and connected toys.

Now it’s up to Target and Ryan Broshar, managing director of the Target + Techstars program, to whittle down the field to 10 start-ups that will relocate to the discounter’s headquarters town of Minneapolis in June.

Here’s a look at the process: