Retail For the Future 

An Acceleration Program
for startups and corporates
to innovate the retail sector 

dpixel and RetailHub, together with Gruppo Sella, building on their respective backgrounds and roles in the Italian retail sector and in the startup ecosystem, have come together to create a european accelerator which, through a dedicated path and a network of partner corporates, supports the development of the model, the go-to-market activity and the subsequent growth.

The new challenge
Open Innovation

The opportunities presented by open innovation have been the subject of extensive conversation over the past few years. As a form of dialogue and collaboration between established companies and emerging startups, it has helped to create disruptive innovations through the application of novel technologies.

It is increasingly critical for the Italian retail sector to look to innovative startups for solutions to myriad challenges, payments, data analytics, omnichannel marketing, user experience, and other examples of continuous innovation, in order to remain competitive, particularly during times of crisis.

The collaboration between retailers and startups plays a key role in bringing novel technologies into the sector, thanks to the power of open innovation.

A crucial part of that collaboration is the work of actors who can convene and support conversations and meetings between corporates and startups. They provide tools and systems to help startups develop projects which meet the needs of companies for innovation in their operations, products, client relations, and business models. 

Partner Corporates Advantages

the path represents a unique observatory on the latest innovations in the sector and on the startup landscape, with full access to the entire pipeline of accelerated teams.
participation in the selection phases, from scouting to ongoing selections, allows you to contribute to better orienting research on the areas of interest.
technological evaluation and the experimentation for technological validation is carried out by our partners and is ensured for the best teams.
Ad hoc assessment and due diligence of technology and business models is provided with respect to opportunities for collaboration with your company.
Networking with other partner companies and the network surrounding the accelerator, dedicated to retail innovation.
Participation in our demo-day
Participation in masterclasses during the acceleration program.
Brand visibility in PR and marketing materials.


Technologies and Solutions

The initiative is shaped on the needs of the participating corporates and, without limitation, operates on the technologies and solutions listed below.

Emerging technologies..


Intelligenza Artificiale


Deep and Machine Learning


Analytics Tools


Cloud Computing




Augmented and Virtual Reality



..for revolutionary solutions


In-Store Retail Tech




Loyalty & Rewards Tech


Supply Chain & Logistic Tech


Smart Payment & Fraud Prevention

Acceleration program: the structure

The program is developed in 16 weeks (after the preliminary scouting phase) and is divided into 4 phases with intermediate selections in order to identify only the best startups.
Throughout the program, partner companies are involved to know, according to their interest and availability, the participating startups.

 I Step

Scouting & Selection
We are looking for the best european startups that respond to the needs of partner corporates

 II Step

Business Acceleration
4 weeks program with the selected team to delelop the strategy end the go to market program

 III + IV Steps

Technical Acceleration + Match Making
6 weeks, only for the 5 best startup, to better prepare them for integrations with partner corporates

The benefits of our accelerator

The first Retail-Tech accelerator created to identify and resolve real problems in the retail sector through innovative ideas and the top technology talent that brings them to life
A structured process to test and support ideas with financing and essential resources to launch and foster strong, scalable startups
A project created and developed by top actors with powerful networks
Identification of new applications of technologies with profound implications for the future of the retail sector
Close relationships with potential markets

A partnership of excellence

dpixel is an innovation company with over 10 years experience financing innovative entrepreneurs, specialized in supporting the development of new startups and innovation processes within companies and institutions.

As a certified incubator dpixel works hand in hand with startups through finance and training designed to foster startups from proof of concept to market quickly while building connections with major businesses looking to undertake open innovation processes (Inaz, Allianz, Erg, Auchan, IWBank, …).

During the programs, dpixel, beyond serving as an organizer, places extensive expertise and a network of leaders in the ecosystem to identify and accompany startups as they develop solutions for the retail sector and for their partner companies.

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Gruppo Sella has worked in open innovation and investment in the startup ecosystem for more than 20 years. It is part of Italian and international venture capital funds with over €40m invested (Primo Space Fund, Barcamper Ventures, United Venture One, 360 Capital One SCA, Digital Investment SCA, Programma 101, Panakes Fund…).

Today, through a network of subsidiaries, it supports all phases of the startup lifecycle. Seed and early stage startups are supported by programs like those offered by dpixel. Growth phase companies work with Sella Venture Partners SGR and Sella Corporate and Investment Banking, providing strategic advisory alongside investment.

Through their work with startups and innovative projects in the retails sector, Gruppo Sella looks to contribute to the growth of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, where innovation is one of the key drivers of the competitiveness of the sector on the global level.

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Retail Hub launched in early 2020 and has already launched several successful projects in collaboration with retailers, corporations, startups, scaleups and unicorns.

It has successfully worked together with major fashion brands to select startups and scaleups to support their work and business processes.

It has initiated key advisory and training projects with retailers in the food sector to accelerate the development of digital culture.

It works with unicorns to support their access to the Italian and European markets and define their go-to-market strategies. Today it works with a portfolio of more that 100 startups and scaleups within Italy and abroad.

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16 weeks in contact with innovation

The acceleration path will take place in presence in Bologna in BIG Bo, the innovation platform created by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna in collaboration with Techgarage association. A workplace and meeting place for innovative startups, talents and companies. An ecosystem where startups can seize opportunities with partner companies and investors.

Are you a corporate and do you want to be part of this program? Contact us for more information!

* the program is aimed at medium-large corporates

* Participation as a partner company is on selection and requires a fee for involvement in the program. Do not hesitate to write to us if you need clarification or insights!

Applications are closed