2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Accelerating Innovation in Retail

#sxsw #RetailTech

Retail brands are incorporating technology and digital concepts to change the consumer experience: from virtual fitting room and apps to new payment options and RFID-tagged merchandise. As technology develops and consumer behavior evolves more rapidly, how are retail companies being inspired to be more agile? This panel—consisting of two brand-side innovators, a venture capitalist helping startups scale with big brands, and a fashion/retail journalist—will explore how retailers approach and accelerate innovation through labs, acquisitions, startup, education, and agency partners, and how brands have used each approach to create emerging shopping experiences and develop new products.


Jen Rubio

Global Dir of Innovation


Jen Rubio is the Global Director of Innovation at AllSaints, where she uses digital concepts to drive innovation in the retail space and in company culture. Her passions lie in the intersection of commerce and emerging technology and creating meaningful, integrated experiences between people and brands. Jen has been an adjunct professor at Miami Ad School, serves in the inaugural class of Levo League mentors and is a startup advisor. Previously, she was Head of Social Media at Warby Parker and led the digital strategy and campaign development for brands including Ford, Comcast, Disney, MTV, Amazon, and Estée Lauder while at boutique social agency Carrot Creative.


Kristina Simmons


Andreessen Horowitz

Partner at Andreessen Horowitz focused on accelerating the growth of our consumer portfolio. Tasked with growing, disrupting, and developing new and existing markets by advising on strategic initiatives for our portfolio such as brand, marketing, product, business development, monetization, and international strategies. Works with C-level executives from global 1000 companies and government on their innovation agendas leading to new opportunities.


Rachel Arthur

Sr Digital Editor


Rachel is a New York-based, British business journalist and digital content strategist. As the global senior editor of digital media and marketing at leading online fashion trade publication and trend forecaster WGSN, she oversees coverage of the industry from a communications, branding and technology standpoint. She is a regular speaker on conference panels, an advisor on digital strategy to leading retail brands, and host for the company’s monthly Google Hangout series with industry leaders. Her work can also be seen in The Daily Telegraph, Mashable and The Business of Fashion, and on her own tech-focused site, Fashion & Mash. She has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, The Evening Standard and Elle magazine.


Will Young

Dir/General Partner


As the Director of Zappos Labs, Will currently leads the San Francisco team, goaled with developing partnerships and building great products through experimentation, incubation, and off-roadmap projects. Will’s innovative and practical solutions – and his massive donut consumption habit – fuel his passion for technology and interest in solving the world’s shopping problems.

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