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How XRC Labs is at the Forefront of the Innovation Wave

What the company does?

XRC Labs (XRC) is an NYC-based venture fund and startup accelerator focused on retail technology and consumer goods. It launched in 2015 and has invested in more than 100 startups. XRC Labs has also built a world-class ecosystem with corporate sponsors including Mastercard, The Estée Lauder Companies, GS1 US, The TJX Companies, and others

The Current Landscape

XRC is seeing some of today's highest raisers come from industries like healthcare and technology. They believe five main sectors are poised to do well over the next year: the consumerization of healthcare, Web3, marketplaces, consumer brands, and digital technologies in supply chain and commerce.

Company Birth Story

Pano Anthos, XRC’s Founder & Managing Director, started out as a multi-time founder. Working in supply chain technology, he actually trademarked the term “global logistics systems.” He built global trade solutions that would automate e-commerce, and then he shifted to deep technology and gaming. He consulted for Boston accelerators and saw a gap in the retail and consumer goods fields. He felt the industry was headed for a shift in 2012, as consumers were highly mobile and e-commerce-oriented, and retailers were not. He started XRC Labs in 2015, and because the venture fund and accelerator is known for being an early investor, they can watch the wave of innovations take place.

The Solution

XRC hosts a bi-annual, 3-month accelerator program, through which accepted startups receive ~$135K in investment and access to corporate partners (previously mentioned) and ecosystem partners: UPS, Brex, Clearco, Vouch, and Fenwick & West. Each startup is also matched with mentors of XRC’s 330+ mentorship network. The accelerator program is small and focused, with about 10-15 startups per session.

XRC is now accepting applications for its Cohort 14 here until June 30, 2022.

Additionally, XRC aims to support minority founders: 47% of portfolio companies have female founders, 33% female CEOs, 41% BIPOC founders, and 35% BIPOC CEOs.

The Team Culture

XRC is headquartered in Dumbo in New York City. Its team is mostly New York City-based and in the San Francisco Bay Area. In terms of values, XRC aims to:

  • Embrace sustainability to benefit future generations

  • Advocate for moderate consumption to promote a flight to quality and legacy — less is more, for a longer period of time

  • Endorse economic well-being that fosters global economy improvement

  • Demand integrity, honesty, and fairness in their internal and external relationships

  • Recognize and nurture excellence in people, technology and products

  • Mentor the next generation of innovators

  • Share and exchange ideas in an open forum to generate new solutions

  • Encourage solutions from multiple sectors, applied to retail and consumer products

Contributing to XRC’s unique culture, it recently hosted its annual Demo Day event to a sold-out audience where its newest portfolio startups, the XRC team and industry insiders gathered for startup presentations, dynamic panel discussions, and networking sessions. You can watch the full event and individual startup presentations here.

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