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The Daily Republic has a story about the Target Incubator, which is described as being “for Generation Z entrepreneurs aiming to do good for the world and the planet.”

Last week, the story says, young entrepreneurs from eight startup companies “delivered pitches to an audience of Target executives. The Minneapolis retailer gave each company $10,000 and loaned executives to a seven-week program where the entrepreneurs learned about negotiating, branding, pitching and more.

“Selected from a pool of 400 applicants, they are part of Target’s newest accelerator program for early-stage companies.” In addition, the story says, “there’s an accelerator for global retail startups run in conjunction with Metro AG, a German food group, an extension of the three-year program it ran with Techstars. There’s one for emerging brands called Target Takeoff.” And Target has invested in some of these startups, to varying degrees.

Minsok Pak, Target’s chief strategy and innovation officer, explains the commitment this way: “It is a huge investment in time and resources. What we get is we get access and visibility to some really exciting innovation, technology, products and brands. But also having our teams work with and mentor these companies, we’re getting some of that startup culture infused in how to quickly develop a concept and idea, a lot of the agile thinking, the flexibility and just the vibrancy that these startups bring.”
KC's View:
This is what smart businesses do - they find ways to simultaneously extend their reach and intensify their embrace, looking to mine new and different mindsets for competitive advantages that will have both short-term and long-term implications for their businesses.