More than 90% of the startups fail within the first two years of operations. The reasons for failure can be multi-fold. However, the most common mistakes made by startups are bad financial planning, an unclear roadmap, poor vision for success, lack of experience in executives and managers, not understanding markets & future trends, and lack or mentorship. However, tomorrow’s big companies are today’s startups and it is very important to keep the startup ecosystem healthy and prosperous. Startup accelerators such as R/GA play this pivotal role of mentoring and training fledgling startups and bringing them up to speed. Their business is to grow their clients’ business.
Westfield Labs was opened with the vision of unifying online and physical retail in order to give the customer a complete shopping experience. In the digital age, a large number of customers browse products online before the make purchases in the store and vice versa. Thus a holistic experience makes a lot of business sense and ensures a larger share of wallet. Co-CEO of Westfield Corp (Westfield Labs’ parent company) Peter Lowy stated recently at a UCLA economic summit that “consumer behavior habits have changed dramatically and permanently” and he promoted the power of mobile and other technologies to draw consumers to physical locations and to streamline their experience with retailers both in person and remotely.
R/GA recently concluded the R/GA Connected Commerce where they joined hands with Westfield Labs as partners. The aim was to mentor 10 start ups looking to redefine the retail experience with the help of Westfield Labs as well as other sponsors including industry bigwigs like Verizon, Walmart, BOA, Macy’s, Intel, and Makerbot. The Startups benefited from the numerous round tables conducted with these industry leaders as well as the guidance and consulting from R/GA. With the help of this program, the startups are expected to take an accelerated and well defined path to market.
The startups that participated include companies with varied interesting offerings. Agent Q’s offering is artificial intelligence for customer care executives while AxleHire provides superfast delivery service to online and physical retailers alike. Clarifai offers AI using visual recognition, Cordial provides a machine learning powered messaging system and Darkstore solves more inventory and logistics problems by optimal utilization of the brick and mortar space. Happy Returns is another one that tries to marry e-commerce with physical shopping by providing in person return facility to online shoppers. Myagi is making the life for sales executives easier while Oak Labs is trying to connect multiple stores on a single platform. Percolata utilizes sensor data to decide on sales force requirements and reply.ai is a bot management platform.
After the three month long program, all 10 participating startups took center stage on October 26th to showcase the products and services offered by them to investors and partners.