David Matthews, Managing Director of REVTECH was featured in The Dallas Morning News in their ‘Connectors’ series. Read the full article here.
RIS Retail Executive Summit Highlights
This week, I had the opportunity to be a judge at the RIS Retail Executive Summit at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale. The audience of about 150 was primarily made up of retail CTO’s and CIO’s, also sponsors, a few entrepreneurs, and at least one retail tech investor. There were several great keynotes by executives from Canadian Tire, GUESS, Walmart Labs, Petstuff, Xcel Brands, and Macy’s.
RevTech has explored the theme of an on-demand workforce for retail, featuring companies like ShiftSmart and Forge at our past pitch events. Macy’s has built and deployed their own on-demand workforce solution. Macy’s SVP of Associate and Labor Relations, Mike Zorn, explained that the goal was to have store managers spend more time coaching associates and less time scheduling. Store associates now have a mobile app for managing their own respective schedules. Full-time employees are given priority over part-time employees for shift selection. According to Zorn, there has been no issue with filling shifts, even during extended-hours holiday times. The number of associates classified as “engaged” has increased by 16% and associate turnover has decreased by 28% since the self-scheduling program was introduced.
Mobile Technology in Stores
The headline sponsor, Boston Retail Partners (BRP), provided the results of a survey of retailers regarding technology deployment in stores. See below for a few of the stats that were shared. Suffice it to say, deployment of new tech moves slowly.
Retailer Deployment of Mobile Tech
Mobile website (19%)
Mobile app (13%)
Mobile loyalty program (9%)
MAC address (7%)
Mobile wallet (3%)
Social media listening (2%)
Ability to personalize rewards around social media engagement (34%)
Provide mobile solutions for store associates (13%)
Plan to have a single commerce platform within 3 years (71%)
For the pitch competition, the clear winner was TruRating, a customer survey solution that is delivered within the payment transaction. TruRating partners with payments providers to insert short surveys into the transaction flow. The company boasts a greater than 80% response rate from these surveys, providing merchants with a true snapshot of customer satisfaction via a web dashboard portal. I was inspired to match the prize check of $2,500 with $2,500 from REVTECH!
Catherine Davis is a 25+ year veteran of retail and has witnessed and problem-solved through many of the rapid and radical changes that have impacted the industry. She is an experienced leader with extensive experience across all sales channels.
Catherine currently serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Tuesday Morning Corporation. Prior roles have included:
Accomplished and innovative retail executive, Shelle Sills brings over 30 years of experience in management, merchandising, buying, marketing and brand development. As a leader in a competitive and emerging retail environment, she exhibits the ability to identify talent, opportunities and to broaden the base of existing brands with critical thinking and creativity. Developed and implemented strategies for small, mid and large size specialty and luxury retail stores with increased market share and bottom line profitability. She has been successful in connecting business, civic and non-profit sectors to create strong financial outcomes. She is recognized as an industry leader in development of customer service strategies, associate development and identifying and scaling new business concepts.
Areas of Knowledge
Executive Leadership, Interpersonal Skills, Personal Leadership and Business Development
REVTECH, a Dallas-based accelerator program and seed capital fund, is launching its own co-working space on June 1st! Less than a mile from Northpark Center, the centerpiece of Dallas retail, this new space will house the REVTECH accelerator programs and funds, several REVTECH alumni and mentors, and will be available to rent for start-ups, investors, and retailers looking to innovate retail.
This move is a testament to the growth of the organization, having recently announced its largest fund to date. REVTECH’s mission is to facilitate the technological evolution of the restaurant and retail industries. The new co-working space, themed around retail innovation, will function as an innovation lab where retailers and entrepreneurs alike can collaborate on solutions to the well-publicized industry challenges.
According to REVTECH Managing Director, David Matthews, “while co-work facilities are bringing community resources to the startup world, sector-focused co-work facilities are creating 24/7 acceleration environments.”
REVTECH has been based in the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC) since its inception in 2013. The new 13,000 square foot facility features state-of-the-art conference rooms, function areas, hardware and software lab facilities, 18 private offices, and 44 workstations. Creation of an innovation lab furthers REVTECH’s goal of providing retailers with the tools they need to compete in the age of Amazon.
To date, REVTECH has funded 31 companies through its accelerator programs. REVTECH alumni have cumulatively raised over $15 million and created over 200 jobs. The next accelerator program will run from July through September, with the semi-annual “Tech Trends in Retail” event scheduled for September 6th at Addison Conference Centre.
Jason Marshall is a retail technology and fintech professional with cross-functional skills developed by leading the strategic planning efforts of the Walmart payments team, managing two of the largest prepaid programs and managing products for First Data and InComm.
His retail technology experience comes from working as Sr. Director, Payments Services at Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. In that capacity Jason managed teams that leveraged the company’s global gift card platform to address the needs of various areas of the company including Marketing, Merchandising, e-commerce and Health & Wellness. His team was responsible for the Walmart payroll card, a tool with industry-leading features designed to meet the needs of the company’s large and diverse workforce as well as the Human Resources and Payroll Departments. Jason also contributed to Walmart’s mobile payments initiatives.
At both First Data and InComm Jason’s work focused on product development and strategic business development. Jason served in multi-functional roles to design and build financial and retail technology solutions and to distribute them to merchants through a variety of direct and indirect sales channels.
Although 80% of his work has been focused on the USA Jason has worked on initiatives in Mexico, Canada, UK, China, India and elsewhere. He recently backpacked the world, primarily the developing world, for 18 months. Jason speaks Spanish.
Jason recently returned to Dallas, his hometown, where he lives with his wife and 11-year-old son. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M-Commerce and a MBA from Yale University.
Sean is a proven technology entrepreneur and executive with a track record of successful ventures to his credit.
As President of Humach, Sean leads the expansion and evolution of the company’s technology portfolio and key technology partnerships, guides corporate strategy and works to continuously expand the customer base. Leveraging his 20+ years of successful operational experience in technology, Sean brings a proven ability to quickly understand and assess customer needs.
Prior to Humach, Sean was COO & SVP at ISIGHT Partners (acquired by FireEye in 2016), where he was in charge of all aspects of the business including Operations, Engineering & Product Development, Product Management, Product Management, Global Intelligence, and Customer Success. Sean was also Co-Founder and SVP of Softlayer Technologies which was acquired in 2013 by IBM for over $2BN. He gained extensive international experience spearheading global business development efforts for Efficient Networks, where he led manufacturing efforts, established OEM/ODM business partnerships, and enhanced their worldwide footprint prior to an acquisition by Siemen’s AG for $1.5BN.
Sean continues to be an active technology investor, and he maintains multiple board and advisory roles. He takes a lot of pride in what he calls his “hustle” and is a firm believer that effort and drive are key differentiators for leaders of successful ventures. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, and has three sons. Sean has a BS Degree in Finance and Banking from the University of North Florida, as well as an MBA in Finance from Regis University.
Mr. Layton is the Founder of PFSweb, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSFW) a global web commerce services provider based in Allen, TX. He is recognized as a pioneer in the world of eCommerce and an expert in disruptive Supply Chain strategies. Layton served as PFSweb Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer from its inception in 1993 through 2013. PFSweb offers a full range of ecommerce technology and business infrastructure (technology, warehousing, fulfillment, call center, payment processing) solutions as well as a full service Digital Agency and employs over 2600 persons.
Mark now spends his time as an Entrepreneur, Investor, Management Consultant and as a Professor at Texas Christian University and the University of Texas Dallas mentoring emerging Entrepreneurs and Supply Chain professionals.
Mark is a graduate of Penn State University (Masters Degree in Supply Chain Management, 2015) & Northern Arizona University (Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Management Information Systems, 1981).
On April 6th, REVTECH hosted the 5th annual Tech Trends in Retail. The Addison Conference Centre was packed full of retailers, investors, and innovators who are all eager to learn how retail is being disrupted and how technology companies are carrying this out.
David Matthews, Managing Director of REVTECH welcomed the full house and announced REVTECH’s new follow-on fund!
Jeff Donaldson, former GameStop CIO and Intriosity CEO was the keynote speaker. Jeff discussed retail transformation imperatives and the roles that automation, AI, and analytics, will play. He stressed the importance of adopting cost efficiency as opposed to cost cutting processes. The opportunity is now to invest in innovating retail!
Jeff Smith, Managing Partner of QuantomIOT presented a case study of IoT in Studio Movie Grill. By leveraging IoT to facilitate data ingestion, automation, and predictive optimization, Studio Movie Grill was able to realize increased revenue, optimize inventory, save time, and better understand their customers.
Nine retail technology innovators presented, all around the themes of automation, AI, and analytics. Arcade won the audience’s favorite presentation!
Accel Robotics, San Diego – creates extraordinary robots designed to enhance the human experience.
Arcade, Melbourne & Dallas – an end-to-end SaaS solution for measuring, increasing and retaining retail employee engagement.
Banter, Palo Alto – enables customers to contact businesses over direct messaging channels. Using both Artificial Intelligence and human agents, customers can make purchases and receive assistance in real time.
Birdzi, Iselin (New Jersey) – personalization platform for retailers and brands to connect to the right shoppers and the right time and place
Fract, San Francisco – helps retailers accurately predict the likelihood that a prospective location will result in disaster, or probable success.
Kwik, Tel Aviv – an end-to-end IoT platform connecting retailers, brands and service providers to their customers.
Oculus360, Dallas – delivers actionable consumer insights on the strength of your brand connection to consumers using their cognitive computing platform.
SupplyAI, San Francisco – the world’s first AI powered platform that helps omni-channel retailers to detect and prevent returns.
Shiftsmart, San Francisco – help workers find and apply to on-demand jobs with one application. Workers can then manage and optimize their schedule across jobs.
DALLAS – April 7, 2017 – REVTECH, a retail technology accelerator focused on early-stage innovation, today announced it has received sufficient commitments to close on its largest fund to date, the REVTECH Follow-On Fund. This fund is larger than REVTECH’s previous funds combined, and will enable REVTECH to make as many as six pre-accelerator investments and up to a dozen post-accelerator investments.
The announcement was made at REVTECH’s “Tech Trends in Retail” event Thursday, April 6 at the Addison Conference Center in Addison, Texas. The event is part of the REVTECH Graduate Program, which consists of a three-day market acceleration program.
“We’ve observed a recurring theme with many of our best performing accelerator graduates: as sales take off, cash plummets, and it takes three to six months (or more) to raise a VC-led seed funding,” said REVTECH Managing Director, David Matthews. “Bridge funding is critical – hence, the need for the Follow-On Fund.”
“We will help accelerator graduates set and perform to milestones that make near-term funding more likely,” he continued, “and provide the critical bridge funding to carry them to that point in their development.”
In 2016, REVTECH created a membership offering, similar in structure to that of an angel group. Its members meet monthly to hear presentations from top prospects, then have the opportunity to co-invest alongside the REVTECH fund.
“By utilizing this structure in 2016, we were able to amplify our funding amounts more than three-fold,” Matthews noted.
REVTECH (Retail Technology Ventures) is a Dallas-based venture accelerator and seed fund that works with the best retail, restaurant, and hospitality technology startups across the globe to accelerate their growth. We do this by attracting, mentoring, and connecting experienced entrepreneurs with viable products to talent, customers, and investors.
Our 14-week Accelerator Program provides seed funding, access to over 100 experienced mentors with backgrounds in Restaurant, Retail, VC, and Entrepreneurship and office space at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center. The program culminates with the opportunity to pitch at our Fall Tech Trends event. Our 3-day Graduate Program provides recent accelerator or incubator graduates the opportunity to take part in a variety of networking events, learning opportunities, and the ability to make several strategic connections through the REVTECH network. Participants in the Graduate Program also receive a spot at our Spring and/or Fall Tech Trends event. For more information, visit www.revtechaccelerator.com.
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