Big news for women in business and the advancement of tech into non-tech big industry as Walmart hires Jennifer Fleiss of Rent the Runway fame, to lead its technology incubator.
Besides the fact that I am thrilled to see a women at the helm of the incubator, I'm excited by the continued rush of non-tech companies to build innovation and tech programs. There are now more options for startups to pursue partnerships, networks, funding and backers, then ever before.
In February, Target announced a mini-accelerator program for health related startups and that is off the back of a partnership they've run for more than a year with Techstars.
This trend isn't just showing up in the US either. British retailer John Lewis started it's own JLab in 2013 and Digiday reported in late December that Topshop, Asos and SimplyB-owner N Brown Group all followed shortly afterwards.
So retailers, manufacturers and public sector organizations - keep innovating and advancing the next best tech driven businesses.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s technology incubator, part of the company’s bid to expand beyond brick-and-mortar retail, hired a co-founder of Rent the Runway to oversee its first startup. Jennifer Fleiss, who stepped down from the online clothing-rental service earlier this year, will lead an outfit called Code Eight, which will develop “highly personalized, one-to-one shopping experiences,” according to a statement on Monday. Wal-Mart’s tech incubator, called Store No. 8, was launched in March to identify trends that are reshaping the shopping experience, including virtual reality, robotics and personalized shopping. The goal is to have a fast-moving, separate entity to spot emerging technologies that can be developed and used across Wal-Mart. It’s part of a push into e-commerce under Marc Lore, who has brought fresh talent and tactics to the world’s biggest retailer since Wal-Mart bought his company Jet.com.