When nearly 30 tech startups from across the globe convene in Bentonville, Arkansas, on Thursday, Oct. 6, they’ll have the chance to pitch their ideas to the world’s largest retailer. At the 2016 Walmart Technology Open Call, the startups will showcase their solutions to Walmart Technology associates in areas that include sustainability, fresh produce, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
Open Call not only keeps Walmart on the cutting edge of technology, but also gives startups a better understanding of working with Walmart and other retailers. As Tom Douglass, director of Walmart’s Lab 415-C, states to participants, “Our goal with this Open Call is to provide innovative companies like you the opportunity to present your ideas and inventions in front of decision makers at the Walmart home office here in Bentonville.”
While solidifying investment in a company is not the primary goal of Open Call, these startups have the opportunity to partner with Walmart in many ways. For early stage companies that haven’t raised a funding round, Walmart could offer seed capital. For those still working to define an MVP, Walmart could offer its considerable engineering expertise, as well as access to facilities at Walmart Technology headquarters in Bentonville.
Each company will get three minutes in a “pitch battle” to present its innovative solution to Walmart Technology associates. Throughout the day, the startups will have face-to-face meetings with stakeholders and Walmart leaders from all over the world. The companies will also hear from panelists, hailing from IBM and Rockfish Interactive, among others, about tech disruption in retail, agile company development and more. In addition, an open expo area will allow for startups to demo their solutions.
The tech Open Call is a partnership between Walmart Technology and the Northwest Arkansas Tech Summit.
Take a look at the companies who will be attending this year’s tech open call:
- Air Cross: Polymer technology that cleans the air and sanitizes surfaces.
- Cimagine Media: Augmented reality tool allowing customers to see how products will look and fit in their home.
- Criteek: Video review and data platform of authentic customer-generated video product reviews.
- Elixer Marketing: Disseminates essential oils or fragrances by breaking down microscopic particles.
- fNograph: Catalog of videos and audio transcripts in an easy-to-access online platform.
- Fast Back: Faster returns online. This is the winning hack team from the 2016 Walmart Intern Hackathon.
- ForwardFunded: Gives shoppers the ability to budget quickly during checkout.
- Freshspire, Inc.: App that connects grocers and customers to choose produce and reduce food waste.
- GoSpotCheck: Collect information to leverage the data and insights that e-commerce is currently capitalizing on.
- Grey Jean Technologies: AI-powered engine provides contextually relevant messages to customers.
- GrowTech Industries: Produce growing year-round in a secure, local, controlled environment.
- Ikonomo: Grocery price comparison app at item or basket level.
- Info Scout: Incentivizes shoppers to snap receipt pictures after shopping.
- InvenSense: Indoor positioning solution and analytics service.
- Omniaretail BV: Machine learning algorithm that unifies pricing, marketing and promotional strategies.
- PeriRX LLC: Patented, noninvasive salivary biomarker kit that can be used to detect oral cancer.
- Rapport: Environmental health management tool for suppliers.
- ShelfZone: Virtual reality shopping experience.
- simMachines: Machine learning marketing analytic solution.
- SPLAT: Provides customers the ability to see a product they are shopping for in their own space before purchase.
- TabAssist: Mobile solution providing associates instant access to critical information right at their fingertips.
- Tap Media Worx: Tap streaming media, static images and other advertising content to purchase the item.
- Total Containment: Method to reduce human, ecological and environmental impacts when dispensing fuel.
- Ubiquitous Energy: Transparent solar technology.
- Wiserg: Captures and stabilizes nutrients in wasted food, repurposing them in a liquid fertilizer.