Updated: May 10, 2021
December 6, 2019 (Atlanta, GA) – Five startups focused on innovating the retail industry participated in Silicon Road Ventures’ second Corporate Connect event, a pitch and demonstration event hosted by Silicon Road to expose investors to new retail technology innovations and establish professional connections.
In its second event, SRV welcomed Chris Lydle from Google Shopping.
“Corporate Connect is the mechanism by which we are bringing retailers into the ecosystem,” said Sid Mookerji, a successful retail tech entrepreneur and founder of Silicon Road. “We want to enable the success of these startups.”
Representatives from four startups gave investors a 30-minute tour of their products and services. Rafael de Albuquerque, CEO and founder of Zoox, pitched a customer data collector that leverages existing WIFI networks; GetPY spoke about capturing data from small to medium businesses and more.
Graduate school professors from Georgia Tech also gave a brief presentation on the business applicability of blockchain and the resources available from the school.
The investors listened closely to the pitches, occasionally asking questions about how the services could solve some of their own key business problems. At the end of the event, the investors made plans with Silicon Road to connect in a similar capacity on a quarterly basis.
Ultimately, the leadership team at Silicon Road says that evolving customer expectations are the main challenges facing retailers today, and there is a clear need to update traditional brick-and-mortar retail business models. As the process of shopping evolves, companies adapt to new challenges, and they’re increasingly willing to put seed money into innovative solutions from startups.
“Historically, retail has stuck to the old formats,” added Mookerji. “While [the shopping mall] was a great innovation, the shopping cart was a great innovation, nothing has really changed. There’s definitely a lot of opportunity for change, so we’re trying to make that happen.”
Silicon Road, a venture capital fund and accelerator program, provides seed money, connections, and other invaluable resources to nascent retail technology startups. The fund has around 40 startups in the program.