Jingit, TrackIF and other startups pitch retail tech at upcoming expo


Shopper-Marketing-ExpoThe Shopper Marketing Conference & Expo is coming to Minnesota for the first time and drawing an estimated 4,000 marketers from consumer brands, mass retailers, agencies and suppliers to the Minneapolis Convention Center on Oct 21-23.

Operated by the Chicago-based Path to Purchase Institute (P2PI), an afternoon symposium on Tuesday will highlight emerging technologies related to consumer shoppers.  Eight startups — including Minnesota made Jingit and TrackIF — are pitching various mobile, social, loyalty and big data analytics products.

JingitJingit is a mobile paid engagement application which incentives consumers for interacting with advertisements, receiving and redeeming brand offers. Led by Joe Rogness and Todd Rooke, Jingit emerged in the fall of 2011 with $2m seed backing and recruited former WalMart VP John Fleming and inked a deal on pre-paid debit cards with US Bank prior to raising another $7m funding round November 2012.

FullcolorTrackIF is a consumer and enterprise price tracking tool providing product alerts aimed at helping people discover and capture deals online.  Launched by serial entrepreneur Doug Berg in early 2013, TrackIF raised $1m seed capital followed by another $3m for scaling.  Most recently, the venture announced a partnership with Pinterest analytics and marketing firm TailWind to accelerate social sharing.

The six other tech startups participating in the Expo are:

The startups will go head-to-head with eight minute pitches to an audience of prospective customers and VC’s who will used local web app Voicehive to vote on winning pitches.  The experience is moderated by Kim Garretson, Director, Realizing Innovation — a project aimed at bridging the gap between marketers and startups slated to launch this fall.

“Entrepreneurs and startups will learn where venture capitalists are placing bets related to shopping in the next 18 months to help them focus on their own innovation programs,” Garretson says of the symposium’s objective.  Midwest Venture Capitalist’s participating include: Stuart Larkins, Chicago Ventures (Chicago); Jeff Maters, Pritzker Group (Chicago & LA) and Chris Olsen, Drive Capital (Ohio).

“Between the negative news coming from Supervalu, Best Buy and Target recently and Amazon’s increasing presence in Minnesota, if we are going to keep our state’s position as one of the leaders in the future of retail and shopping, our corporate retail sector needs to accelerate innovation around rapidly evolving trends in shopping,” adds the former Best Buy executive turned startup liaison, when speaking towards the significance of the event happening here in Minnesota.