RX: Disrupting the accelerator landscape to close the scaleup gap

We launched RX in early 2016 with a clear purpose: to bridge the gap between startups and corporations. That foundation hasn’t changed as we have rapidly grown the program; since May 2016, we have brought 60 startups through six completed RX programs and are actively working to help them scale through online and in-store channels.

We’ve also learned some remarkable things about the accelerator space, and about RX itself:

1.       The scaleup gap has two sides.

A big reason why 75% of all startups fail is that most lack the expertise needed to scale through major distribution channels. What we’ve also observed since launching is a clear gap also exists on the client side: Major retailers, carriers, energy companies and more are under real pressure: they need to navigate disruptive new business models, meet the endless ways for their customers now compare, shop and buy products and services. They not only need to find “the needles in the haystack” – the next great products and services that drive revenue – they also need to figure out how to work with those “needles” once they’re found.

2.       RX is not a traditional accelerator program.

While the promise exposure to the startup culture and new ways of working, traditional accelerators are not focused on the needs of major corporations – they exist to raise equity for startups. So what happens after that equity is raised? Is the startup any smarter at navigating retail or scaling its growth? Do the companies know how to work with these startups? And are both sides focused on a shared business or customer need?

This is where RX is making its mark. While we provide retail readiness coaching for later-stage startups, we equally help major corporations gain new expertise and skills for their innovation work.

3.       Pitch Day is just the beginning for RX startups and clients.

We’ve helped both the startups and clients engaged in our RX programs gain major traction in a short period of time. For example:

•        One of the largest mobile carriers in the U.S. is working to private-label a personal safety startup product selected through an RX program.

•        A large online retailer is building its private label food & beverage business with startups sourced by RX in two customized RX programs.

•        We recruited 14 smart home startups at CES 2018, as part of an RX program underway to help the nation’s second-largest energy company redefine its residential energy efficiency programs.

We are full-speed ahead with RX programs for clients in 2018 that touch on IoT, smart home, energy efficiency, food & beverage, and more. We intend to stay focused on both sides of the scaleup gap: By connecting startups that match a specific business or customer need for the client, we help both evolve and optimize how they work together day in and day out – which speeds the path to value creation for both sides.


Interested in learning more about RX? First, here, a few words from our startups and RX Network clients - then check out our FAQs. If you'd like your startup in the consideration pool for a future RX program, please click on "apply."

Watch: The RX Experience in 4 Ways

Four ways the RX experience makes a difference for product startups - and for our RX Network clients.

You have a product startup - and a business to run. RX brings the accelerator. the coaches, and the experts to you.
More than 30 worldwide mass and specialty retailers are in the RX Retail Network. We bring a number of them together for Retail Pitch Day, where startups that have completed the RX coursework pitch products and begin the channel management process.
Each startup in the RX program has a designated coach, someone who helps them get the most of the RX coursework and prepare for Retail Pitch Day.
The virtual coursework and Retail Pitch Day are just the beginning for startups moving to scale via retail. The RX team works with each startup to manage a channel management plan that places the product with the right retailers, in the right channels, at the right time.

The ScaleupRX Podcast

Help yourself to 13 bite-sized episodes of the ScaleupRX Podcast for retail readiness knowledge and insight from our RX Coaches! It's another way we bring the knowledge to you, wherever you are.