Retailers are seeking innovation that takes their private brands to the next level. That’s the reason for the creation of the Velocity Fast Track pitch competition. This inaugural contest from the Velocity Institute will be part of the Retail Brand (private brand) industry’s signature event, the 2022 Velocity Conference + Innovation Expo, held at the Charlotte Convention Center, May 16-18.
The competition is an unprecedented opportunity to present new ideas to retail leaders that can accelerate private label innovation. A select group of Retail Brand manufacturers, agencies, brokers, service providers, software companies, printers, ingredient manufacturers, researchers, etc. will get their chance to pitch directly to retail senior executives on the Velocity main stage. If it all sounds a bit like ABC’s Shark Tank, that’s because the TV show helped inspire Velocity Fast Track.
HOW IT WORKS
Velocity Fast Track entrants will complete an application and submit a 5-minute pitch video. The applications will be reviewed by teams from three major retailers partnering with Velocity Institute on this initiative. Those retailers are Kroger, CVS Health and Family Dollar.
Five finalists will then be selected and invited to present live on stage at the Velocity Conference. Each finalist will have five minutes to pitch directly to a panel of leading retail executives from the three retailers. The panel will feature:
- Juan Depaoli, Vice President Our Brands, KROGER
- Brenda Lord, Vice President, Private Brands & Quality Assurance, CVS HEALTH
- Brandon Wehmeyer, Private Brands Category Business Manager, FAMILY DOLLAR
KEYS TO SUCCEEDING
The Velocity Fast Track’s pitch format is designed to reward big and bold ideas that push the envelope. We encourage participants to focus on:
- Innovative new products that are ready to go to market in the retailer’s brand.
- Partnerships that develop differentiation and increase shopper affinity.
- Services or solutions that help retailers grow and manage their brands.
The main benefit for finalists is exposure in front of the retailer panel and the global retailer audience of Velocity Institute. Finalists are innovation leaders, and their participation improves the chances that a retailer will become aware of their pitch and consider working with them. In addition to the benefit of exposure, the five finalists will each receive:
- A 10×10 booth at the Velocity Innovation Expo
- Two passes per finalist to the Velocity Conference + Innovation Expo
Finalists are also in the running to win the People’s Choice Award, picked by Velocity attendees using mobile voting technology. The award winner gets two big benefits:
- Participation in a Velocity Talk interview that will run on the Velocity Institute website. An executive of the winning company will be interviewed by Christopher Durham, President of Velocity Institute.
- An Innovation Expo booth and two passes for next year’s Velocity 2023 conference.
IMPORTANT CONTEST DATES
- Deadline to Enter: March 31, 2022 (Entry Fee: $99)
- Finalists Announced: April 29, 2022
- 2022 Velocity Conference + Expo: May 16-18