The Target Forward Founders Accelerator Program seeks to connect your ground-breaking business with its retail expertise in order to build your brand faster than you ever thought possible.
1. The Target Forward Founders is perfect for early-stage consumer product good companies looking to learn and understand the next steps towards retail readiness. The Target Forward Founders program is open to all product categories available at Target except apparel and accessories, jewelry, DVDs, CDs, car seats, shoes, strollers, books, movies, music, video games, bath, bedding, furniture, heating, cooling, air quality, home appliances, kitchen and dining.
2. The Target Takeoff is perfect for mature consumer packaged goods companies ready to scale into mass retail. The Target Takeoff program is open to the following categories for 2023: food & beverage, baby, pet, household essentials, and health.
Categories of Applicants
1. For early-stage CPG brands looking to get ready for retail
Cohort 4 runs
April 25, 2023 — June 29, 2023
Focus categories: Baby and Toddler, Food and Beverage, Health and Personal Care, Household Essentials, Pets, Toys and Entertainment
Cohort 5 runs
October 3, 2023 — December 14, 2023
Focus categories: Baby and Toddler, Beauty, Health and Personal Care, Household Essentials, Pets, Toys and Entertainment
2. For mature CPG brands ready to scale into mass retail.
Target Takeoff Food and Beverage runs
May 1, 2023 — June 9, 2023
Focus category: Food and Beverage
Target Takeoff Essentials runs
October 16, 2023 — December 1, 2023
Focus categories: Baby and Toddler, Health and Personal Care, Household Essentials, Pets
Prepare for long-term success on retail shelves by:
- Getting guidance from some of the brightest minds in the business
- Making powerful connections to industry-disrupting experts, peers and Target team members
- Gaining access to leading retail resources
- Increased knowledge of retail and familiarity with retail resources
- Attend a coaching session with a Target buyer to get valuable feedback for growing your brand
- Leave with a Retail Action Plan, a week-by-week guided plan that helps you prepare for retail
- 10-week virtual startup accelerator program
- Sessions are scheduled 5 – 8pm CST Tuesday and Wednesday evenings with optional office hours on Thursdays
- Includes all products available at Target except apparel and accessories, CDs, DVDs and books
- Requires about 10 – 15 hours per week
- 30 companies will be accepted
- Up to 2 members of each company can join
- During all 10 weeks, at least 1 founder needs to attend all required sessions
- Free to accepted participants
- Each company is given a $5,000 stipend
- Comprehensive coursework
- Unmatched mentorship
- Collaborative cohort
- A founder must be 18+
- Must have an LLC, B-Corp, S-Corp or other registered entity (sole proprietorships are not allowed)
- Must currently have a physical product that is available to sell
- Cannot be a current or prior vendor with Target
- Must be a consumer packaged goods (CPG) company focused on growth and scaling for mass retail
- Desire to actively collaborate, support and connect with other founders
- Must sell direct-to-consumer (DTC) online, in specialty stores or have limited brick-and-mortar presence (<50 stores)
- Ideally have less than six employees
- Ideally have lifetime revenue of $5,000 – $500,000
- Ideally have limited manufacturing and supply chain capabilities
- Final selections will also be made based on team, assortment, innovation pipeline, traction and potential for growth.
Application Deadline – until 11:59 p.m. CDT on Friday, February 3, 2023.