”Disrupt Retail” initiative promotes sector innovation
Sonae retail businesses will open doors to national and international startups, allowing them to test solutions in real environments.
Sonae has just launched the initiative "Disrupt Retail – Call for Technology”, which seeks to allow national and international startups to test, in a real environment, the solutions they have developed. This initiative comes as a result of Sonae's open innovation and technological cooperation policy and wishes to incentive new technological solutions that are disruptive and provide added value to retail brands clients.
João Gunther Amaral, CIO of Sonae MC, says: "Sonae, through this initiative, aims to promote a synchronization of rhythms of value generation between corporative ecosystems and startups. This synchronization is catalysed by crossing the value propositions from various entrepreneurs with existing opportunities throughout the whole retail chain”.
The first edition of the "Disrupt Retail – Call
for Technology by Sonae” initiative will accept submissions till the 15th
October. Everyone interested should apply on https://disruptretail.sonae.pt/.
All applications will be analysed until the end of October, the projects to be developed at Sonae will be
chosen and its implementation will occur before the end of the year.
Participating startups will benefit from a follow-up by Sonae experts in technology and retail, as well as the possibility of using an ecosystem with over 3 million clients and more than 1,000 shops, and a validation of their product by Sonae's clients and stakeholders. The initiative also gives access to possible investment in projects by Sonae IM's investment management unit, which includes Bright Pixel.
Sonae is looking for projects in the fields of merchandising optimisation, store and warehouse operations, customer engagement, logistics and buying experience (online and offline) but may also take in projects in other fields, as long as they are disruptive for the retail sector.
Among the technologies favoured by "Disrupt Retail – Call for Technology by Sonae” are artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, internet of things, robotics, virtual and blockchain assistants, or any other that may allow to present innovative solutions.
Besides startups, the program is available to research and development centres, as well as to companies and agencies that present solutions that are sufficiently prepared to be tested.
"Cooperation between companies and startups is crucial for innovation. Thus, at Sonae, we have been trying to increasingly interact with the different communities in various ways, from mentoring, product co-development, to idea and project incubation. Nowadays we have more than one hundred partners around the world with whom we work to revolutionise the sectors where we do business for the benefit of our clients, and we hope to do it also with those participating in ‘Disrupt Retail – Call for Technology by Sonae’, who will have in Sonae the ideal partner to help them be successful”, João Gunther Amaral concludes.