R/GA Announces Connected Commerce Accelerator In Partnership With Westfield Labs

Program to Take Place in San Francisco and Target Companies Creating the Future of Commerce

Mar 11, 2016, 13:00 ET from R/GA

SAN FRANCISCO, March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, R/GA, the company for the connected age, opens the application process for the R/GA Connected Commerce Accelerator in partnership with Westfield Labs, an entity of Westfield Corporation focused on digital retail innovation. The program seeks to advance the retail industry in the digital age and invites applications from growth-stage and early-stage startups that can impact the future of connected commerce, redefine the mall/in-store experience, or enhance a consumer's engagement with brands at any stage of the transaction process.

Startups selected to participate in the Connected Commerce Accelerator will have access to resources from R/GA and Westfield Labs as well as opportunities for input and collaboration from a unique set of program partners that are global leaders in the commerce space, including Macy's, Shopify Plus, Bank of America Merchant Services, and Verizon. Access to these diverse commerce leaders will provide unparalleled opportunities for startups seeking to create innovative experiences and technologies at the intersection of digital and physical commerce.

Startups participating in the program will also have an opportunity to join roundtable sessions with the program partners and third-party experts from around the globe to discuss cutting-edge innovations and share forward-looking research to inform and inspire. This program component will bring disparate perspectives together to create a dynamic and multi-dimensional conversation around relevant trends defining the future of commerce, and will help to identify potential market opportunities for the program startups.

As with all R/GA Ventures programs, R/GA will provide each selected program startup its award-winning business transformation, strategic marketing, branding, design, and technology services, as well as access to its network of industry partners, global brand leaders, mentors, and investors.

"R/GA is honored to work with partners who are leading the discussion about the future of commerce," said Stephen Plumlee, Global Chief Operating Officer of R/GA and Managing Partner of R/GA Ventures. "We look forward to bringing the unique value of our award-winning global talent pool and client relationships to this program. Our model has proven that it creates incremental long-term value for founders, investors, and our program partners." 

The participants will also have access to the Westfield Labs team who are among the world's leading experts in the convergence of digital and physical shopping, and work in partnership with top global retailers to enhance the consumer experience. Westfield's $10.5B development pipeline includes projects in some of the world's most iconic locations including World Trade Center in New York, Los Angeles, Milan, and London.  

"At Westfield Labs we are committed to building digital experiences that connect consumers with our retail partners," said Kevin McKenzie, Global Chief Digital Officer, Westfield Corp. "Our team is thrilled to collaborate with top ranked agency R/GA and world-class retail partners to evangelize and promote talent and innovation in the commerce space."

The program will emphasize opportunities for business development, pilots, and partnerships with program partners and their networks, and will enable startups to develop and launch new business models that will disrupt the status quo and reimagine the future of commerce. It encourages applications from companies focused on in-store experiences, mobile commerce, payments, merchandising, customer service, analytics, CRM and loyalty, conversational and social commerce, blockchain, POS, delivery and distribution, VR/AR commerce experiences, inventory and workforce management, and more.

Startups from around the world are invited to apply, and can submit their applications beginning on March 11, 2016 through May 23, 2016. Up to 10 startups will be selected to participate in the program, which will take place in San Francisco starting on August 1, 2016. The program will conclude in late October 2016 with an invite-only Demo Day at which each startup will have the opportunity to present to investors and industry leaders from across the retail, e-commerce, and technology industries.

For more information or to apply, please visit www.rgacommerce.com and follow @rgaventures.

About R/GA
R/GA, the company for the Connected Age, develops products, services and communications to grow our clients' brands and businesses. Founded in 1977, the agency has been a pioneer at the intersection of technology, design and marketing with work spanning web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development and business consulting. R/GA has more than 1,500 employees globally with offices across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific and is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), one of the world's largest advertising and marketing services organizations. R/GA is a member of the GAN (gan.co), a network of the world's most respected accelerators and organizations in support of the startup ecosystem. For more information about R/GA, please visit www.rga.com, @rgaventures, and www.rgaaccelerator.com.

About Westfield Labs
Westfield Labs is an entity of Westfield Corporation and serves as a global digital lab focused on removing the friction from physical commerce. Westfield Labs is committed to transforming emerging ideas and technologies into viable businesses that move the retail industry forward. The team develops and pilots new technologies that converge the digital shopper with the physical world. Over time, new products, partnerships and services will be commercialized globally. For more information, visit www.WestfieldLabs.com. Follow Westfield Labs on Twitter here or on its blog.

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