Target, Fast Company Award $75K In App Contest

Target, Fast Company Award $75K In App Contest

The winning app, Divvy, is meant to enhance the “group shopping” experience; work is underway to roll out the product to Target customers.

Target Corporation and Fast Company magazine on Wednesday announced the winner of their Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator contest, which called on developers to create a mobile app or mobile website for the Minneapolis-based retailer.
 
A $75,000 prize was awarded to Team Pilot, a New York-based group of seven digital developers and advertising agency co-workers.
 
Team Pilot’s winning app, Divvy, is designed to enhance the “group shopping” experience, Target said. It allows a group of users to divide up a bill, share receipts, keep track of shared transaction history, and earn rewards points. Shoppers view and contribute to a shared shopping list and can invite others to the list via email.
 
“There’s always that sticky moment at the end of a group shopping trip when you have to settle the bill with one another,” Chris Reardon, one of the app’s developers, said in a Q&A with Target. “Those moments were the initial inspiration behind the app—using tech to solve the annoying parts of shared purchasing.”
 
Target and New York-based magazine Fast Company launched the contest in March. In March and April, contestants created mobile apps designed to be integrated into Target’s existing apps and mobile services. At least one of Target’s four “priorities” had to be incorporated: “social,” “in-store,” “personalization,” or “education.”
 
In May, a panel of industry leaders selected seven finalists and granted them $10,000 each to fund their prototype research; they were also provided a designated Target mentor.
 
Judges on the panel included Casey Carl, Target’s president of multichannel and senior vice president of enterprise strategy; Matt Mankins, chief technology officer for FastCompany.com; Tom Preston-Werner, CEO of Github; Ruchi Sanghvi, vice president of operations for Dropbox; and Suhail Doshi, CEO of Mixpanel.
 
Target said that finalists were authorized to use its entire e-commerce API, allowing for complete programmatic access­—including product descriptions, SKUs, and store locations—to the same endpoints used by Target’s official website and apps.
 
The competition drew more than 350 applicants and 76 app entries, Target said. Divvy is in the process of being developed for use by Target customers. It will add to a few other existing Target apps, including Cartwheel, an app that allows shoppers to curate discounts and organize planned purchases.