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Groceryshop 2023 “Shark Reef” Startup Pitch Competition: Preview—12 Innovators, Four Areas of Retail Disruption

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Coresight Research is a research partner of Groceryshop 2023, which will take place during September 19–21, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada, US.

On Tuesday, September 19, the “Shark Reef” Startup Pitch competition will see 12 early-stage innovators compete to win the Judges’ Choice and Audience Choice awards. The competition will span three sessions in Track 3, beginning at 3.15 p.m. and concluding at 5.35 p.m. PT (local time of the event).

In this report, we preview the pitch competition, covering its format and the judging panel as well as an introduction to each participating innovator.

Groceryshop 2023 “Shark Reef” Startup Pitch Competition: Preview

Event Format and Judging Panel

Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, will emcee the Groceryshop 2023 “Shark Reef” Startup Pitch competition as well as feature on the judging panel. The event will comprise two rounds:

  • Round 1. All competitors will present for three minutes on how their innovative technologies are addressing important challenges in grocery. Weinswig will conduct a short Q&A session following each presentation. The audience will have the opportunity to rate each company, with six companies progressing to the next round based on the judges’ deliberation and audience ratings.
  • Round 2. The finalists will each participate in a more in-depth, five-minute Q&A session with the judging panel.

The judges will then decide the Judges’ Choice winner, and the audience ratings will determine the Audience Choice winner.

Weinswig will be joined by three experts on the judging panel:

  • Ashley Hartman, Managing Partner at Bluestein Ventures
  • Matt Nichols, General Partner at Commerce Ventures
  • Carle Stenmark, General Partner at VMG Partners

Innovative Solutions Across Four Areas of Disruption in Retail

The participating startups satisfy the following selection criteria:

  • Business-to-business (B2B) solution
  • Pre-Series A—funding of less than $8 million
  • Founded within the last five years (since 2018)
  • Scalable—strong growth prospects
  • Highly differentiated—solving key industry challenges with innovative technology

Coresight Research categorizes the 12 startups into four areas of disruption in retail.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Innovators specializing in AI are helping retailers optimize their operations by providing insights and recommendations based on data analysis. AI is being used to optimize demand forecasting and pricing, as well as to improve personalization to enhance the overall customer experience.

Startups: Guac, Luca, Native AI

2. Inventory Management and Supply Chain

Companies focused on inventory management and supply chain visibility are using technology to help retailers reduce waste and enhance sustainability, optimize inventory levels and improve product availability.

Startups: Envelope, Mammoth, TAINR

3. Marketing and Loyalty

Startups in this category are helping retailers enhance customer engagement and loyalty by providing personalized marketing campaigns and loyalty programs. They are using data analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences and provide targeted recommendations through a variety of physical and digital channels.

Startups: 3mint, AndesML, Crafted, Swish Brand Experiences

4. E-Commerce Fulfillment

Companies focused on improving e-commerce fulfillment processes—including delivery and returns—are using technology to provide faster and more efficient delivery options and improve the overall customer experience.

Startups: Bevz,

Figure 1. Groceryshop 2023 “Shark Reef” Startup Pitch: 12 Innovators Across Four Areas of Retail Disruption

A diagram of different areas of disruption Description automatically generated
Source: Coresight Research


The Competing Innovators


  • Speaker: Tom Borgers, Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Marketing and loyalty
  • Year Founded: 2022
  • Headquarters: New York, New York, US

CPG brands struggle to establish direct digital engagement channels with their customers to overcome their reliance on indirect retail channels. This makes it hard for consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) brands to drive customer loyalty because they cannot effectively communicate with their customers. 3mint’s omnichannel loyalty platform for CPG brands combines with an end-consumer wallet to enable brands and retailers to establish direct communication and engagement with customers in their largest sales channels—allowing shoppers to earn and redeem rewards through the same retail channels they already frequent.

By capturing more first-party customer data and incorporating retail customers into their engagement funnel, 3mint’s platform empowers brands and retailers to build loyalty across online and offline channels, driving repurchase and increasing customer lifetime value.


  • Speaker: Tomás Gazmuri, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Marketing and loyalty
  • Year Founded: 2021
  • Headquarters: Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile

Retail advertising is undergoing a significant shift toward retail media networks (RMNs) due to changes in the privacy landscape and increased demand for more accountable advertising. AndesML aims to revolutionize e-commerce monetization by transforming businesses into multichannel advertisement networks using an AI-powered technology platform.

The company offers a fast, cost-effective alternative to in-house builds, enabling online companies to introduce an advertisement-based revenue stream and optimize their ranking systems, working directly with their sellers to promote products on-site.

Through proprietary algorithms, AndesML delivers a personalized experience to the end consumer, generating sales for third-party vendors as well as providing e-commerce marketplaces with a new revenue stream.


  • Speaker: Jason Vego, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: E-Commerce Fulfillment
  • Year Founded: 2020
  • Headquarters: Los Angeles, California, US

Bevz is looking to revolutionize the snack and beverage industry at a hyper-local level through convenience stores. Convenience stores miss out on revenue opportunity every year due to mismanaged inventory and lost sales, both in-store and online. Bevz addresses this issue by offering an array of features that empower convenience stores to thrive in an increasingly competitive and omnichannel retail landscape.

The company’s SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform automates convenience-store inventory purchasing from snack and drink distributors and transforms the way retailers sell in-store through their point of sale (POS) system and online through their e-commerce and delivery apps. Its inventory management tools enable store owners to have full control of inventory with one product library, adjust prices that update on delivery apps, accept orders from third-party delivery partners such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates, and get delivery-driver status updates from one centralized platform.


  • Speaker: Sarah Nesheim, Co-Founder
  • Area of Disruption: Marketing and loyalty
  • Year Founded: 2021
  • Headquarters: New York, New York, US

Crafted specializes in providing quality user-generated content (UGC) for food and beverage brands, aiming to increase brand awareness and conversion through authentic videos that offer social proof. The company’s platform connects brands with a vast network of food content creators, allowing them to scale their content needs as they launch in new retail locations. Crafted focuses on delivering high-performing content by implementing an internal video-review process that consistently produces videos that outperform other UGC providers and in-house content teams.

The platform’s geo-targeted campaigns ensure that brands don’t waste money promoting products in locations where they aren’t available, further optimizing marketing efforts and maximizing return on investment.


  • Speaker: Khuldoon Bukhari, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Inventory management and supply chain
  • Year Founded: 2020
  • Headquarters: Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia

The retail landscape is currently faced with challenges in maintaining optimal on-shelf inventory availability. Envelope offers an AI-driven retail management platform, called enRetail, that leverages cameras to monitor shelves in real time, eliminating the need for manual shelf audits.

The enRetail platform provides automated task management and on-shelf availability analysis and insights, enabling retailers to improve efficiency and productivity, reduce losses, maximize revenue and improve the customer experience. The platform offers features such as restocking alerts, staff performance analysis and stock level monitoring, making it easier for retailers to manage their inventory and staff.


  • Speaker: Euro Wang, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: AI
  • Year Founded: 2020
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California, US

Food waste and inventory management are critical challenges in grocery retail. Guac specializes in AI-powered demand forecasting for grocery retailers, aiming to help retailers cut food waste, increase on-shelf availability and reduce manual ordering mistakes in order to increase revenue. By offering daily, SKU stock keeping unit)-level predictions for all departments, Guac enables grocers to optimize inventory management and streamline their ordering processes.

By integrating machine-learning technology with hundreds of external data points tailored to individual stores, Guac’s algorithm delivers accurate predictions, enabling retailers to avoid over-ordering and maintain fuller shelves, ultimately leading to increased sales and improved customer loyalty.

  • Speaker: Yegor Anchyshkin, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: E-commerce fulfillment
  • Year Founded: 2020
  • Headquarters: Burlingame, California, US

Robotics-as-a-service company aims to help retailers reduce the cost of picking and packing orders through automation. The company provides a robotic fulfillment solution that has a small footprint and is flexible and accessible for operators of all sizes.’s system comprises grids, bins, autonomous robots (which are the only moving element of the system) and Incloud, cloud software that orchestrates the system’s fulfillment-related operations.

Using the system, retailers can use existing spaces to manage their orders, rather than building new warehouses on the outskirts of towns, which is particularly advantageous for e-commerce retailers looking to target consumers in urban areas. has designed its robots to work effectively in small (1,000 square feet) and oddly shaped spaces, balancing handling many items with processing orders quickly.

The company also offers a simulation environment where businesses can build a high-fidelity digital twin of their fulfillment site to quickly evaluate the economic benefits of working with


  • Speaker: Tanvi Surti, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: AI
  • Year Founded: 2022
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California, US

Luca is an AI-powered co-pilot for enterprise retailers that identifies revenue- and profit-boosting opportunities in product pricing. Luca’s AI software recommends pricing increases and decreases across similar SKUs, specifying the opportunity size in both revenue and profit across dollar and percentage terms. Luca contextualizes each opportunity by giving a confidence level in the recommendation, based on availability of sales data for that product.

The company’s technology is intended to be complementary to human decision-makers within retail organizations, bolstering their capabilities by converting large amounts of data about the business into clear and actionable recommendations.

Luca enables retailers to refresh their pricing plans as often as needed, ensuring alignment with evolving financial objectives, with dynamic price adjustments driven by real-time demand and supply signals. Its monitoring system acts as a safeguard by alerting businesses to potentially harmful price changes. By responding to competitors’ moves, unveiling opportunities for product bundles and clearance sales, fine-tuning free shipping thresholds and crafting nuanced promotions, Luca empowers retailers to make data-driven decisions around pricing.


  • Speaker: Julia Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Inventory management and supply chain
  • Year Founded: 2022
  • Headquarters: New York, New York, US

Grocery retailers face challenges in managing volatile global supply chains and adapting to unpredictable consumer demand patterns. Mammoth is an intelligent supply chain platform that leverages real-time data and AI to help high-growth food companies build more efficient, responsive and resilient supply chains.

Embedding climate intelligence into day-to-day decision-making, Mammoth enables supply chain teams to reduce climate impact and risk while equipping commercial teams with the data they need for reporting to investors, retailers and consumers. The company’s platform helps businesses automate and optimize their supply chain across the areas of planning, procurement, management and measurement.

By consolidating data and key performance indicators, automating and optimizing supply plans, and incorporating climate intelligence and risk assessment into planning and procurement workflows, Mammoth enables brands to navigate the rapidly changing business landscape effectively. In addition to enhancing supply chain efficiency, Mammoth’s platform also focuses on sustainability and resilience, helping companies reduce their environmental impact and mitigate risks associated with climate change.

Native AI

  • Speaker: Frank Pica, Co-Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: AI
  • Year Founded: 2018
  • Headquarters: New York, New York , US

Retail companies increasingly need access to reliable and timely consumer insights to make informed decisions about their products and services. Native AI is an always-on market intelligence platform that leverages generative AI to help businesses create enhanced customer experiences. The platform uses natural language processing (NLP) and AI to convert unstructured data into digestible visuals and actionable insights for brands. Native AI’s platform offers a comprehensive suite of solutions, including product cataloging, sentiment analysis, competitive scouting, persona building, message optimization and more.

Native AI’s proprietary digital-twin technology uses generative AI to create clones of target customers using billions of parameters. This allows businesses to ask specific questions about their products and receive unbiased answers in minutes, compared to the weeks it would take to execute a focus group or survey.

Swish Brand Experiences

  • Speaker: Adam Stave, Founder and CEO
  • Area of Disruption: Marketing and loyalty
  • Year Founded: 2022
  • Headquarters: Northville, Michigan, US

Swish Brand Experiences offers a data-driven product-sampling platform for brands and retailers. With a mission to modernize and optimize product sampling, the company aims to elevate customer loyalty, strengthen supplier relationships and seamlessly expand retail media capabilities, while rewarding shoppers.

Harnessing real-time customer order data, Swish Brand Experiences integrates full-size complimentary products into online grocery orders on behalf of CPG brands. Managing this process end-to-end, the Sponsored Product Sampling platform offers tailored customer experiences, empowers brands with performance insights, and enables retailers to extend their retail media reach.


  • Speaker: Kathy Silva, Founder and Chief Operating Officer
  • Area of Disruption: Inventory management and supply chain
  • Year Founded: 2021
  • Headquarters: Los Angeles, California, US

TAINR is a package-refill technology provider. Its smart refill kiosks eliminate the need for single-use plastic packaging while addressing the inefficiencies that come from managing packaged goods: the kiosks automatically weigh and dispense shopper orders into plastic-free containers.

TAINR gives brands and retailers the ability to track inventory data in real time, providing insights into shopper behavior to optimize supply and demand.

TAINR’s packageless offerings also help brands and retailers become more operationally sustainable, aligning with a current market focus on sustainability, including among consumers and other stakeholders.


Groceryshop 2023 “Shark Reef” Startup Pitch details and participating innovators accurate as of September 13, 2023.