SAN BRUNO, Calif. – July 12, 2017 – Today, Store No 8 and Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global have announced a nationwide open invitation to the virtual reality community for a first-of-its-kind v-commerce competition. Presented in collaboration with Accenture as a strategic innovation advisor, the competition encourages participants to submit ideas that have the potential to change the way we shop and live.
The competition will culminate with an invitation-only exhibition in Los Angeles on October 18, 2017, curating interactive and immersive experiences. The exhibition will highlight the most innovative companies in virtual reality and commerce, allowing them to interact and present their ideas to today’s leading brands and influencers.
Each exhibit at the event will encompass Store No 8, Thrive Global and Accenture’s vision for the future of virtual reality, storytelling experiences that show the increasing sense of engagement and connection consumers have with the products they love. Exhibitors are encouraged to submit ideas fundamental to the next generation of immersive technologies, all with the mindset of creating a step-change in the consumer experience that makes shopping more mindful, more human, less stressful and more enjoyable.
“Virtual reality creates a presence, a mindfulness, that nothing else today can. We are looking to leverage virtual reality to drastically enhance the way people shop. Our first step is to identify the most innovative companies and minds in the space to help us on this mission,” said Katie Finnegan, Principal of Store No 8. “Innov8 will further define the future of commerce by inspiring and driving growth in the underlying ecosystem of technologies needed to bring shopping into the era of virtual experiences."
The program invites applications from growth and innovative early-stage companies from around the world that are developing technologies and content that will shape the future of commerce in virtual reality. Selected winners of the open invitation will receive capital to fund development costs and strategic advice during incubation of concept. Winners will also be provided an exclusive opportunity to work with Walmart, Jet.com, Thrive Global and other leading retail partners.
“Right now, we’re in the middle of a cultural shift away from burnout and based on the connection between well-being and performance,” said Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global. “The companies that will win the hearts and minds of consumers are those that shape our daily lives by making everyday experiences, like shopping, easier and less stressful. Innov8 will focus the industry’s brightest minds and talent toward the development of virtual experiences that change the way we live for the better.”
“Virtual reality is rapidly transforming the way companies connect and engage with their customers and employees,” said Marc Carrel-Billiard, senior managing director, Accenture Labs. “Accenture is committed to developing and investing in this powerful technology given the potential we believe it has to drive real business value. We’re excited to participate as a strategic innovation advisor to Innov8 and look forward to seeing the ideas that emerge.”
Innov8’s Board will include Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global, Marc Carrel-Billiard, Senior Managing Director of Accenture Labs, Jason Welsh, Managing Director, Accenture Interactive, Kirsten Green, General Partner of Forerunner Ventures, Tipatat Chennavasin, General Partner of the Virtual Reality Fund, Katie Finnegan and Seth Beal, Principals of Store No 8, and Marc Lore, President and CEO, Walmart U.S. eCommerce and Founder and CEO, Jet.com. Companies will be provided an exclusive chance to showcase their ideas and connect with some of the biggest brands, influencers, and venture capital investors in the world, including General Catalyst, HTC VIVE™, Silicon Valley Bank, NEA, and Norwest Venture Partners.
For more information, those interested in submitting their ideas to Innov8 can visit http://storeno8.com/innov8
About Store No 8
Store No 8 is an innovation center for uncovering, inventing and investing in the ideas that will transform the future of commerce. Launched in March 2017 by Principals G. Seth Beal and Katie Finnegan, Store No 8 is a stand-alone entity based in Silicon Valley. With the support of the world's largest retailer, Walmart, Store No 8 has a view directly into the heart of America, playing a central role in the continuing evolution of commerce. By investing in the ideas that will bring radical innovations to the physical, digital and virtual retail experience, Store No 8 acts as a force driving commerce forward.
About Thrive Global
Thrive Global’s mission is to end the epidemic of stress and burnout by offering companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance both well-being and performance. Recent science has shown that the pervasive belief that burnout is the price we must pay for success is a delusion. We know, instead, that when we prioritize our well-being, our decision-making, creativity and productivity improve dramatically.