Walmart has named Scott Eckert to lead its investment arm and startup incubator, Store No. 8.
Launched in 2017, Store No. 8 was created by Marc Lore, who joined Walmart in 2016 when the retailer bought his startup, Jet.com. The goal of the endeavor is to create relationships with artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging tech entrepreneurs. Since its inception, the startup has worked on several endeavors, including Jetblack, a same-day delivery service that enables customers to text their orders for same-day delivery; Spatialand, a virtual-reality software maker acquired in 2018; and Project Kepler, which aims to compete with Amazon Go.
Eckert most recently was at Bain Capital Ventures, where he has been evaluating potential new investments and advising CEOs of existing portfolio companies as executive in residence.
“I’m excited to welcome Scott Eckert to Walmart as Senior Vice President, Next Generation Retail and Principal, Store No8. Scott’s background as a global technology executive and entrepreneur make him a perfect fit to lead Store No8 and its mission of incubating technologies that can transform the future of retail,” Lore wrote in an internal email to employees obtained by PYMNTS.
“Scott is passionate about creating new businesses that have impact at scale, and he told me there’s no better place to do that than Walmart. His start-up mentality and ability to lead in emerging categories will help fuel Store No8 as we continue to dream big, explore new technologies and develop next gen capabilities to serve customers. Turning what if into what’s next is how we’re innovating for the future through our strategy to win,” he added.
“As someone who has spent the past 20 years working with or as an entrepreneur, new business creation is a core part of my DNA. For any entrepreneur excited to create new ways to serve customers, there is no better place to start a business and have impact at scale than Walmart,” said Eckert in an emailed statement. “I’ve always enjoyed working with other entrepreneurs in a vibrant startup ecosystem, helping them navigate the complexity of creating and building something that matters — that’s what we’re doing at Store No8 and I’m delighted to be part of it.”