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XRC Labs Cohort 5 Launch Event: Bigger than Ever

Executive Summary

The FGRT team attended NRF 2018 Retail’s Big Show in New York City this week. With more than 35,000 attendees from 95 countries, including 18,000 retailers and more than 600 exhibitors, the trade show is one of the biggest in the retail industry. Below are our key takeaways from the third and final day of the event.

  • Pano Anthos, Founder and Managing Director of XRC Labs, spoke about the evolution of the program over the past two years. More than 300 companies applied to be part of the program in 2018 and 48 companies from the first four cohorts are still in business today.
  • Anthos described how the accelerator program continues to evolve and grow through partnerships and collaborations. XRC Labs partnered with the National Retail Federation (NRF) on the Innovation Lab at NRF 2018 Retail’s Big Show, which ran January 14–16. The space included an exhibit area dedicated to showcasing 25 startups and a stage that was home to panel discussions and sessions on retail technology.
  • The retail store format continues to evolve and retail remains in a state of change, Anthos noted. He said that stores are evolving in five key ways: they are mobilizing to serve consumers through flexible formats, offering unique experiences, operating as platforms, operating as services for consumers and operating as factories where consumers can purchase items on demand.
  • Each of the nine companies in XRC Labs’ fifth cohort presented a two-minute overview of their retail technology solution at the launch event. Standouts included Convrg, maker of an AI-powered chatbot that aims to reduce returns through upselling, and LexSet, an interior design visualization tool that uses AI.

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