Startups present innovations for retail

Ingolstadt/Munich, 22.06.2018: Software for CCTV analysis, solutions for cashierless retail, image recognition technology, and LED film for advertising spaces: the list of innovations presented by startups at Expo Day in Munich on 21 June was long. Previously known as Demo Day and now held at the Technikum, this was the Retailtech Hub’s second closing event – and it was also used to welcome a new partner.

On this hot summer’s evening in Munich, it may have been sunny outside, but inside the Technikum there were showers – albeit of confetti! There was good reason to celebrate, for the startups from the Retailtech Hub were showcasing themselves and their achievements. They’d been selected a few months beforehand from hundreds of applicants, and on 19 March they moved into the Retailtech Hub. Over the following weeks, they worked on exciting pilot projects in conjunction with the programme’s retail partners. And now they stood side by side on the stage celebrating the results of their hard work.

The concept of the Retailtech Hub is based on a win-win situation, for in this collaboration between prestigious retail companies (including MediaMarktSaturn) and startups from all over the world, both sides profit from valuable contacts and dialogue. The startups in each intake or ‘batch’ team up with partner companies in pilot projects, which are jointly honed during the three-month programme. The concept is a triumph, as demonstrated by the example of Saturn Express. The first cashierless Saturn store in Innsbruck was developed by MediaMarktSaturn as a pilot project in conjunction with the startup MishiPay in the first batch.

There’s definitely an urgent need for new ideas in the retail sector, as Christoph Bornschein, CEO of digital business agency TLGG, told the startups and some 280 guests in his keynote provocatively entitled ‘Retail Apocalypse?’. Bornschein, a digitization consultant to the private sector, delivered a frank, expert analysis of the multi-brand retail trends he has observed on the global market and the challenges facing retailers like MediaMarkt and Saturn.

Transforming and redesigning the world of retail is the aim of the Retailtech Hub – and the startups have a major part to play with their new concepts. The founders’ business models range from smart surveillance systems which spot probable shoplifting before it occurs through IoT solutions to cloud-based logistics solutions for the ‘last mile’.

The diversity of the Retailtech Hub’s partners from consumer electronics, food and real estate ensures that there’s something for everyone. The partners value the process of dialogue with each other and collaboration on the platform. And their ranks were swelled when in the presence of several board members and representatives of the partner companies, another major firm signed up to the Retailtech Hub at the 2nd Expo Day. “We’re delighted to have the s.Oliver Group, one of Europe’s leading fashion brands, join us at the Retailtech Hub,” said Thorsten Marquardt, Managing Director of the Retailtech Hub. “We’re now actively supported by four partner companies with more set to join shortly. More than 21 startups have now taken part in our programme and the selection process for the next batch is currently underway. We’re steadily drawing closer to our goal of building up an extensive, Europe-wide platform with which we intend to jointly shape the future of retail.”

About the Retailtech Hub

The Retailtech Hub is an innovation platform bringing together retailers, brands and selected startups to test and pilot new technologies and digital business models. It was launched in August 2017 and is made possible by the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group in cooperation with the Plug and Play Tech Center from Silicon Valley and partners the s.Oliver Group, the Schwarz Group with Lidl and Kaufland, and property management company Aachener Grundvermögen. The core elements are a three-month mentoring programme with special emphasis on business development, and concrete pilot projects. In addition, the Retailtech Hub is a network for open communication between companies from and serving the retail sector anywhere in the world.