Best Buy Wants To Help Tech Innovators Become Store Ready
Best Buy said Monday that it was launching a program to help bring new technologies from startup companies to the market.
The Richfield-based electronics retailer’s new Ignite program is intended to assist these early-stage companies and entrepreneurs in tackling the challenges around product development, packaging and inventory management with an eye on getting those cutting-edge goods on Best Buy shelves.
Getting products to the story-ready phase is particularly important, Best Buy said, and will be made possible through a partnership with branding and development agency PCH.
Select startups will receive access to PCH’s services after completing a submission form on Best Buy’s Ignite page. The goal is to eventually bring these products to consumers online and at a brick-and-mortar level, as Best Buy has currently done at its store in Silicon Valley.
At its Silicon Valley Ignite space, the company divided its offerings into three experiences: audio products (wireless earphones and headphones by Bragi and Muzik), fitness wearables (connected fitness systems by Under Armour), and a variety of crowd-funded gadgets (a data-collecting jump rope by Tangram and a Bluetooth-enabled padlock by Noke).
In a blog post, Best Buy said its new Ignite spaces are “designed to give customers an opportunity to discover and learn about some of the newest tech products on the market.”
Fellow Minnesota-based retailer Target took a similar tactic with its Open House experience in July 2015. Target’s San Francisco concept showcased dozens of smart household items functioning within the living room, bedrooms and elsewhere.
Best Buy did not provide a rollout plan for Ignite spaces in its other retail locations. However, the company noted it would begin to feature products on its website (via an Ignite page) later this fall.