Call for Submissions: Staples Connect Seeking Innovative Learning Products and Services in Second-Annual Breakthrough Project

Makers, entrepreneurs and small businesses are encouraged to submit innovative products or services for students through Aug. 10 for a chance to be sold in select Staples stores

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As part of its continued evolution to Staples Connect, the working and learning store, Staples US Retail today announced a call for submissions of innovative products or services that aim to support students in learning for its second-annual Breakthrough Project scheduled for Sept. of 2021. Now through Aug. 10, 2021, entrepreneurs and small businesses are invited to submit their products or services by visiting and following the steps for submission1. After the submission deadline, Staples Connect will select certain products and services to advance and be presented in a virtual, face-to-face meeting with Staples Connect buyers2. Following the completion of the virtual meetings, buyers will select products and services to be carried in select Staples Connect and Staples stores across the country.

“Some of the most innovative products we now carry in our stores were brought to our merchant team by small businesses and entrepreneurs as a result of our first-annual Breakthrough Project in the fall of last year,” said Brian Coupland, SVP Retail Merchandising, Staples US Retail. “This spring, we’ll bring parents, teachers and students a brand-new assortment of products and solutions from new makers designed to improve the learning experience, however and wherever students are learning in 2022.”

The Staples Connect Breakthrough Project is designed to accelerate the path to market for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Staples Connect is seeking products and services targeted toward supporting students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade, including those in the following categories:

  • Kids Furniture
  • Organizational Solutions
  • Desk Accessories
  • Ergonomics
  • Tutoring
  • New Learning Tools & Aides
  • Technology
  • Virtual Reality
  • Digital Collaboration

Participants from last year’s Breakthrough Project whose products were chosen to be sold in select Staples stores encourage those who’ve been waiting to be discovered to enter today.

“The first annual Staples Connect Breakthrough Project was a breath a fresh air for us as a smaller vendor in a traditionally crowded marketplace,” said Grant Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Learning Advantage. “It was encouraging to have such a large window of opportunity to get our products into mass retail in a condensed timeframe. The Breakthrough Project has provided us with significant momentum as we enter the Back-to-School 2021 season, contributing to a sales lift of over 30% vs. the same period in 2020.”

Steps to Submit

Innovators can follow the steps to submit their product or service by Aug. 10, 20211. The timeline from there is as follows:

  • Product submission – Submit qualifying products or services by Aug. 10, 2021.
  • Buyer match – Submissions will be reviewed by an expert buyer at Staples US Retail.
  • Product review – Participants will receive an email notification once their product or service has been reviewed letting them know if their product or service has been selected to move to the next round.
  • Event – The Staples Connect Breakthrough Project – Finalists will present their product or service in a virtual, face-to-face meeting in Sept. 2021.
  • Winner notification – Finalists will be notified of the outcome of their meeting via email.

Join the conversation on social with #TheBreakthroughProject.

About Staples Connect

With a focus on the community of small businesses and consumers, Staples Connect provides innovative products, services and inspiration essential to the new ways of working and learning. Staples Stores and Staples Connect retail locations serve millions of customers from entrepreneurs and small businesses to remote workers, parents, teachers, and students. Explore Staples Connect at a local Staples Store or online at

About Staples

Staples supports lifelong achievement for businesses and consumers however and wherever they work and learn today. With more than 1,000 retail locations, dedicated account teams, category professionals, innovative brands and a curated product assortment for businesses, entrepreneurs, educators and students, Staples provides customized solutions for continued professional and personal growth. The company operates in North America through retail stores, eCommerce, and direct sales, and is headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts. For more information about Staples, please visit us in store or online at®.

1 By clicking the link, you will enter the Range Me site that Range Me operates and controls. Your use of the Range Me site is at your sole risk and is governed by Range Me’s Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.

2 Selection of the products and services to be presented in a virtual, face-to-face meeting with Staples Connect buyers will be at Staples sole discretion.


Jocelyn Moruzzi
(508) 397-2691

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