Sonae MC challenges tech startups to innovate in the retail industry

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To promote innovation within the retail industry, Sonae MC has launched a challenge to Portuguese and international startups to test their solutions in real-life context on the 3rd edition of the “Disrupt Retail – Call for Technology by Sonae MC” initiative.

Sonae MC is accepting applications until the 6th of March and the chosen projects will be announced in April, setting the moment from which they’ll start the collaboration with the company.

The company is looking for solutions with meaningful impact in the retail value chain, with emphasis on:

  • the “store of the future”
    How will physical stores evolve? New technologies are changing customers’ experience, daily operations, checkout, planogram planning… What do you have to add?
  • e-commerce
    Buying online is part of our routines and it requires transactions of money, data, and goods. Help us improve our internal processes and the overall experience for our online customers.
  • new ways of working
    The way we work is being reshaped and with it comes a lot of challenges. Technology is crucial for communication, collaboration, automation, and a thousand more things…
  • health and wellness services
    Where do health & wellness, retail, and technology meet? Retail is reshaping health and wellness services and providing accessible care.
  • consumer experience and digital universe.

Amongst the valued technologies at “Disrupt Retail – Call for Technology by Sonae MC” are artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, Internet of Things, robotics and blockchain.

On the 2nd Editions of Disrupt Retail – Call for Technology by Sonae MC, in 2020, the initiative gathered 136 applications from 20 countries, resulting in 5 proofs of concept.

Goodbag (Austria) was one of the conducted tests, consisting of a shopping bag of exclusive design and 100% organic cotton composition, that incorporates a mini chip allowing to help the planet in each reutilization.

Another example was the pilot with Threedium (United Kingdom), where automatization of 3D models generation from 2D photographs was put to the test, with the aim of improving client experience in digital channels.

The selected startups will benefit from an exclusive mentorship program with Sonae MC’s specialists in technology and retail, and the possibility of watching their proposals implemented in an ecosystem that encompasses over 3 million families, distributed over 1.000 stores of multiple brands.

We privilege innovation and believe in cooperation and cocreation as important sources for conceiving new solutions and going above and beyond for our clients, workers and partners.

With Disrupt Retail we want to challenge and help startups implement their pilot projects in real-life context, designing the future of retail together.

Miguel Moreira, administrator for BIT, the information systems department at Sonae MC

Apart from startups, the competition is also open to I&D centres, as well as companies and agencies presenting mature and ready-to-be-tested solutions.