Startup competitions seeking retail technology companies

Steven Loeb · November 27, 2018 · Short URL:

They include Retail Innovation Pitch Event and Retail Disrupt Startup Competition

If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that are focused on retail technology companies:


Fashion Tech Consortium

Description: "The Fashion Tech Consortium is sponsoring another startup innovation challenge. Enter your consumer products/manufacturing/retail technology startup company to receive maximum global exposure by presenting in front of industry leaders, investors, and key executives."


First Place:
  • Chance to present your company at Fashion Tech Consortium & FIT’s Fall 2017 Innovation Across Retail Conference in New York on Tuesday, October 24th.
  • 3-month pilot in the Store of the Future here in New York.
  • Eight hours of counseling from the Fashion Tech Consortium team.
  • Introductions to key executives representing major brands. 
  • Company logo and marketing information displayed on the Fashion Tech Consortium’s Website.   
Second Place:
  • Eight hours of counseling from the Fashion Tech Consortium team.
  • Introductions to key executives representing major brands.
  • Logo and marketing information on the Fashion Tech Consortium’s Website. 

 Third Place: 

  • Four hours of counseling from the Fashion Tech Consortium’s team. 

Previous winners: Not specified


National Retail Federation

Description: "A new competition to acknowledge cutting-edge tech startups and other companies using the best and latest technology to revolutionize the retail shopping experience."

Prize: The winners will receive spots in the Innovation Lab or Startup Zone and participate in a session on the Innovation Lab stage next year at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show. NRF’s annual convention is scheduled to be held January 13-15, 2019, in New York as over 37,000 retailers from nearly 100 countries gather to address the industry’s latest trends, innovations and strategies for transformation.

Previous winners: IceCream Labs, Allure Systems, Hero, ZigZag, Mystore-E, Trade’EM


Description: "See the best of robots, 3D printing, IoT, and every other emerging technology that fits that sweet spot of both TECHNOLOGICALLY POSSIBLE and ECONOMICALLY VIABLE. The future of commerce is created right here."

Prize: Startups compete to be a featured solution on CART, pre-qualify for potential $25,000 cash investment from CART partners and $25,000 in free CART services. Most importantly the forum provides exposure to potential customers, strategic investors and the media.

Previous winners: Bossa Nova Robotics



Description: "The Retail Startup Awards for Game Changers is a pitch competition for tech-retail startups and entrepreneurs. We will have 5 finalists, chosen to pitch their ideas to world retailers, venture capitalists and investors, industry experts, media, and potential clients in the iconic city of New York."

Prize: Selected teams will have the opportunity to present a pitch deck to an audience of investors and other guests. Also we have a symbolic prize money of 5000€ for the winning startup and 1.500€ for the organization/institution that recommends the winning startup.

Previous winners: Not specified



Description: "If you’re an inspiring entrepreneur or an early stage startup, you need to get noticed. You also need to get funded. A startup competition is a great way to pitch for a chance to win attention from media and investors. We offer you a chance to pitch your startup in front of a panel of seasoned retail technology leaders, investors and hundreds of decision makers."

Prize: 1st PLACE WINS

  • Booth at ShopTalk 2019.
  • Participation in The Merage Institute Leadership Program.
  • Booth at Retail Disrupt 2019.
  • Speaking session at Retail Disrupt 2019.
  • Meetings with investors.


  • Introductions to investors.
  • Speaking session at Retail Disrupt 2019.

Previous winners: Ladingo, Fixel, ConfirmU



Description: "The Retail Awards was established by IDC Turkiye to honor the achievements in industry technological innovations within Turkey."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: Not specified



Description: "Shoptalk Startup Pitch features 15 early stage companies with pioneering technologies and business models."

Prize: Companies will compete for two $25,000 prizes

Previous winners: EVERY, Shop

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