Kohl’s & Toshiba Partner with Plug and Play for First Retail-Focused Startup Accelerator

Leading retailer & solutions providers seek startup technologies through Silicon Valley partnership

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 8:08 am EDT

Dateline:

SUNNYVALE, Calif.
"Through our commitment to innovation, Kohl's is investing in the new technology, platforms and partnerships that will elevate customers' connection with Kohl's"

Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions have partnered with Plug and Play for their newest program, Plug and Play Retail, to engage with startups that align with their developing technology initiatives. Plug and Play Retail is the first brand and retail-focused startup accelerator bringing together a round-table of complimentary partners to guide the direction of the program and help decide the startups accepted.

Saeed Amidi, Plug and Play’s CEO and Founder: “We are pleased to announce Plug and Play’s partnership with Kohl’s and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions and plan to leverage their deep industry knowledge and expertise to advise our investment strategy in the retail space. With their guidance, we will look to invest $25K-$100K in up to 30 retail-focused startups from around the world.”

The Retail Accelerator is a 12-week program designed for early and growth stage startups. Qualified companies are developing solutions in areas like inventory management, forecasting, augmented reality, Beacon, etc. Through tailored deal flow, themed workshops, and face-to-face interaction, Plug and Play Retail enables corporations to engage with startups that may complement their respective suite of offerings or create new potential revenue streams. Startups accepted into the program receive funding from Plug and Play Ventures, weekly mentor sessions with industry thought-leaders, and opportunities for potential pilot projects, all culminating at Plug and Play’s quarterly demo day.

"Through our commitment to innovation, Kohl's is investing in the new technology, platforms and partnerships that will elevate customers' connection with Kohl's,” said Ratnakar Lavu, Kohl’s executive vice president of digital technology.“ The way consumers shop and share is changing faster than ever, and we are staying several steps ahead to ensure their experiences with Kohl's remain both easy and exciting."

Agile, data-driven startups are changing the way merchants interact with their shoppers and this is leading to a seamless consumer experience.

“At Toshiba, we see the retail store as a linchpin in the shopper's journey, and the best way for stores to stay ahead of shopper expectations is by optimizing the experience through commerce technology,” said Gregg Margosian, Vice President and CTO, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. “Toshiba is proud to support Plug and Play Retail, along with Kohl's, and be a part of the networking and mentoring opportunities and the pioneering of projects from this program to further the retail experience for stores and their shoppers.”

Michael Olmstead, Co-Founder and Program Manager for Plug and Play Retail states: “All the players in the industry - brands, retailers, and retail-solution providers are beginning to feel the pressure from consumers and competitors to innovate. We are excited to partner with forward-thinking corporations like Kohl’s and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions to help bring innovation to a very traditional industry.”

Plug and Play Retail will be accepting applications until May 31st and the program begins June 30th. To learn more about the program and the corporate partners involved, visit: http://retail.plugandplaytechcenter.com

About Plug and Play

Plug and Play Tech Center is a global investor and technology accelerator that specializes in growing tech startups. Headquartered in Sunnyvale California, Plug and Play’s network includes over 300 tech startups, 180 investors and a community of leading Universities and Corporate partners.

About Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions is retail’s first choice for integrated in-store solutions and is the global market share leader in retail store technology. With a global team of dedicated business partners, we deliver innovative commerce solutions that transform checkout, provide seamless consumer interactions and optimize retail operations that are changing the retail landscape. For more information, visit toshibacommerce.com

About Kohl’s

Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. With a commitment to environmental leadership, Kohl’s operates 1,162 stores in 49 states. In support of the communities it serves, Kohl’s has raised more than $257 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl's Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit www.Kohls.com, join the discussion on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Kohls) or Twitter (http://twitter.com/Kohls) or get inspired on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/Kohls) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/Kohls).

Contact:

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions
Renee Kiefer, 1-919-523-7241.
Rkiefer@us.ibm.com
or
Plug and Play Retail
Mirjana Shasha, 408-524-1439
Shasha@plugandplaytechcenter.com

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