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REVTECH Is Moving To A New Office Space [Press Release]

REVTECH NEW OFFICE

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.

 

To learn more about the space, email cowork@revtechaccelerator.com or fill out info on http://www.revtechaccelerator.com/office-space/!

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Jason Marshall Joins REVTECH Mentor Team!

Jason MarshallWe are pleased to welcome Jason Marshall as a new mentor!

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.

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Sean Charnock Joins REVTECH Mentor Team!

sean-charnock-bioWe are pleased to welcome Sean Charnock as a new mentor!

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.

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Mark Layton Joins REVTECH Mentor Team!

Mark SmallWe are pleased to welcome Mark Layton as a new mentor!

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).

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Tech Trends In Retail 2017 Recap

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!

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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.

 

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REVTECH Retail Technology Accelerator Announces its Largest Fund to Date [PRESS RELEASE]

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.

About REVTECH
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.

Media Contact:
Jeff Ketner
Ketner Group PR + Marketing
jeff@ketnergroup.com
(512) 794-8876

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Highlights from Shoptalk By David Matthews

shoptalk photo

A capacity-plus crowd of 5,500 people descended upon the Aria Hotel & Convention Center in Las Vegas last week for Shoptalk 2017.  Unlike many retail-themed conferences, all factions of the industry were represented – the disruptors and the disrupted, the thought leaders and the thought feeders, the mature companies and the startups, the up-and-coming and the down-and-out.  Each came with a similar purpose: to figure out what the heck is going on in these tumultuous days of retail!

 
 

Here are some of my key takeaways:

 

  • In the age of Amazon, two companies are clearly winning – Amazon and Walmart. For the plethora of companies that make up the other 92% of retail sales, the outlook is mixed.  Amazon is winning for two key reasons: 1) shareholders continue to value the company for its future potential, and 2) the company leads the marketplace in real innovation, both online and offline.  Walmart is also winning because it is making the long-term technological and marketplace investments necessary to adapt to 21st century retailing.
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  • Clearly, most of the other well-known retail brands are struggling mightily with innovation.  They talk the talk, but do they walk the walk? For example, Target announced it was shelving its plans for a “store of the future” near San Francisco in favor of a small-footprint store model and more attention to its grocery business.  The message I heard was, “unless the ROI from technology innovation is crystal clear and immediate, we will continue working smarter with the old playbook.”
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  • In one of the more interesting sessions I attended, a venture capitalist moderated a discussion between an up-and-coming digitally native retailer you’ve never heard of and a down-and-out bricks and mortar retailer you definitely have heard of.  The up-and-comer described many ways he was using innovation to surprise and delight his growing base of customers; the down-and-outer’s main innovation was replacing name-brand underwear with private-label underwear to squeeze out more margin.  Sad.
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  • I was surprised and delighted by the way startups were treated on the exhibit floor.  At the annual National Retail Federation (NRF) convention each January, startups have low visibility [except, as I noted in my NRF recap, that startups were integrated into the booths of the tech giants as a façade to suggest that legacy technology is innovating]. At Shoptalk, “Startup Row” flanked the edges of the main exhibit hall, making it impossible to get to a meal or a content session without interacting with a few startups. Two REVTECH alums were well represented on Startup Row – Dor Technologies and EverThread.  Both were blown away with the number of conversations they were able to have with prospective customers.
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  • The inverse correlation between attendance at Shoptalk (10% above capacity) and attendance at Shop.org (shrinking toward non-existence) speaks profoundly to what’s happening in the overall industry.  One is framing the architecture of 21st century retail; the other is applying lipstick to legacy.
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REVTECH at SXSW Part 2

Hello all,

This year’s  SXSW was quite an experience. From the innovative technologies showcased in the interactive track, to the up and coming musicians and producers moving their audiences in the music and film tracks, SXSW attracts attendees from around the world with it’s extensive repertoire.

A theme that echoed throughout the week and one that I resonated with is that experience drives action. With the rise of e-commerce and external pressures on brick and mortar retail, driving in-store traffic and brand engagement is obtained through providing a unique experience. I saw this strategy discussed on panels, created in pop-up retail, and executed in brick and mortar establishments during my time at SXSW.

At RetailLoco, Charlie Larkin at GameStop (REVTECH mentor), John Harmon at Fung Global, Alex Hurd at Walmart, and Asif Khan at LBMA were panelists discussing the gamification of proximity. When covering brand loyalty as it relates to ‘value’, it became apparent that cost savings alone isn’t enough to drive loyalty. Instead, a focus on an integrated experience that transcends from home to store is the future. Walmart’s examples were a busy mom with kids in the car can have groceries brought out to the car, or that prescriptions can be paid for in their app and save you time waiting in line.

retail locoJohn Harmon, Alex Hurd, Charlie Larkin, Asif Khan

On a SXSW panel, Fender’s Chief Product Officer, Ethan Kaplan, discussed how bespoke is the new mass production. Fender is giving customers the ability to customize their dream guitar from not only an aesthetic standpoint but also all the inner workings and technical components. The only limitation is that the final product needs to be representative of the brand.

Levi’s hosted an event at SXSW called Levi’s Outpost. As soon as you walked in you were encouraged to play with the innovative technology they are currently developing like electrically conductive textiles that can serve as digital turntables or the wearables they’re integrating into their jean jackets with Jacquard by Google. The backyard was set up to host panels of fashion and technology experts and there was also a small gift shop where you could buy Levi’s. They had tailors on hand to customize the denim products to your liking. This was a great example of a pop-up retail experience where the brand takes you on a journey while personalizing it for each customer.

levis retail sxswLevi’s Outpost Backyard 

Yeti Coolers opened their flagship store in Austin last month. Their approach was to create a brand museum to engage and activate customers while building a long-term relationship. After getting a drink at the bar and a Franklin BBQ sandwich, I walked around the store and learned about the history and story of the brand. They also had a live band on a stage, which was built with their coolers. Not to mention the lack of bar stools, because the audience was seated on their coolers. While the space was in fact a store, the primary goal was to activate customers and have them buy into the brand which they hope will lead to a sale.

Yeti Flagship Store

Brick and mortar isn’t going to disappear. However, the ways in which physical traffic is engaged and utilized by brands will change. One such way is tailoring experiences to individual consumers through the use of mobile and analytics to create a seamless experience from either online or offline commerce. Other trends I saw emphasized were automation, AI, analytics, mobile and social engagement, new retail models such as Turnstyle NYC, and the search for AR/VR’s place in either in-store or online.

SXSW provided a front row seat to some of the trends in retail innovation. I look forward to returning next year! Did you see anything cool retail exhibits while at SXSW? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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REVTECH Announces 7 Graduate Program Companies [PRESS RELEASE]

REVTECH Retail Technology Accelerator Announces 2017 Graduate Program Participants

Companies Will Participate in Pitch Competition at 2017 Tech Trends in Retail Event, April 6

DALLAS – March 14, 2017 – REVTECH, a retail technology accelerator focused on early-stage innovation, today announced the participating companies in the 2017 REVTECH Graduate Program. Each company has completed a top-tier accelerator program including Alchemist, Plug and Play, XRC Labs, and REVTECH’s own accelerator program.

The seven companies chosen to participate bring an international flair to this year’s REVTECH Graduate Program, with participants from as far away as Australia and Israel.  The theme for this year’s program is “AI, Automation, and Analytics — Vital Tools for Retailers in the Age of Amazon.” In keeping with the theme, the participating companies have developed innovative solutions in areas including robotics, SaaS, and AI:

  • Accel Robotics, San Diego – Creates extraordinary robots designed to enhance the human experience.
  • Arcade, Melbourne and Dallas – An end-to-end SaaS solution for measuring and increasing retail employee engagement and retention.
  • Banter, Palo Alto – Enables customers to contact businesses over direct messaging channels. Using both Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human agents, customers can make purchases and receive assistance in real time.
  • Birdzi, Iselin (New Jersey) – A platform for personalized customer engagement that allows retailers and brands to deliver targeted, relevant, location-aware offers.
  • 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.
  • SupplyAI, San Francisco – The world’s first AI-powered platform that helps omni-channel retailers detect and prevent returns.

 

The REVTECH Graduate Program consists of a three-day market acceleration program and the opportunity to pitch at REVTECH’s “Tech Trends in Retail” event April 6th at the Addison Conference Center in Addison, Texas. In addition to quick pitches by the graduate companies, Tech Trends will feature an opening keynote presentation by Jeff Donaldson, Intriosity CEO and former GameStop CIO. Tickets for Tech Trends are available here.

About REVTECH
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.

Media Contact:
Jeff Ketner
Ketner Group PR + Marketing
jeff@ketnergroup.com
(512) 794-8876

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REVTECH at SXSW Part 1

Our VP of Business Development is attending the SXSW Interactive festival this year in Austin. With just a few days of the conference completed, Jonathan has shared his experience so far in this quick recap below.

I hit the ground running as soon as I arrived in Austin Friday morning and got hold of my SXSW badge. With only 7 days in town, I plan on attending as many events as the day will allow. I’m pleased to say that Day 1 and 2 did not disappoint.

I kicked things off on Friday night at the third annual Retail Innovation Lounge (RIL) hosted by Anne Marie Stephen, CEO of Kwolia and REVTECH mentor. The lounge proved to be a great way start to SXSW.


I headed back to the RIL on Saturday; the day started with a fireside chat with Under Armour’s Sid Jatia, VP of Direct to Consumer moderated by Marc Biel, CEO of Shopgate.

retail innovation lounge 1

Jatia dove into great conversation emphasizing the importance of engaging customers via their app. Under Armour leverages their app to create a personalized experience and drive long-term engagement rather than using it for promotions and short term gains.

The following session featured Urvi Bhandari, Innovation Catalyst at Walmart and REVTECH mentor discussed digital fashion future with Fashion 360 and how technology can be integrated into fashion and the data possibilities.


retail innovation lounge 2The next panel was full of familiar faces with Brian Maupin – Xclaim Mobile, Daniel Black – Glass-Media, Anne Marie Stephen, and Matt McCoy – Scanalytics. They discussed ‘New Meets Non-Traditional at TurnStyleNYC’, a new retail concept located in an NYC subway walkway. Turnstyle is testing new retail technologies which is great for retail innovators looking for real world use cases.

They discussed how the state of retail is gloomy but innovation brings excitement back by creating new retail experiences. The playbook of the past is gone. Brick and mortar isn’t going to disappear, but leveraging technology to activate, engage, convert, and retain customers will be crucial for success. Turnstyle is exciting because it’s WHERE the people are.

Austin is buzzing with innovation and I’m looking forward to the next week of SXSW. Check back in next week for a recap

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