Fashion incubators and accelerators collaborating with fashion designers is nothing new. Especially for budding fashion tech businesses. Although they overlap, there is a distinct difference between accelerators and incubators, which is the stage of startups they accept. With many to choose from, it is encouraging to see such global programs motivating forward-thinking innovators to take their ideas that little bit further.
Created to offer mentorship, networking opportunities, professional development, and sometimes studio space, fashion incubators and accelerators have been providing tremendous growth potential to various businesses, notably in the fashion tech space. Here are three programmes that are worth keeping an eye on as we head towards 2019.
LOOK FORWARD BY SHOWROOMPRIVE.COM [France]
Look Forward by Showroomprive.com is now recruiting for its 2019 session. Committed to fashion, beauty and retail tech industries, Look Forward has created a platform for innovations that seek to revolutionise the worlds of fashion, beauty and retail. “The incubator acts as a genuine catalyst for change in the fields of fashion, beauty and retail tech,” shared Pierre Méric, Look Forward Incubator Director
Look Forward by Showroomprive.com will actively support new digital projects to develop a real community around fashion, beauty and retail tech. Labeled Grand Place of Innovation by Île-de-France region, Look Forward has already coached 35 startups (17 fundraisings for a total amount of 8 M€) and supported ten profitable companies.
There is some time to apply. Those selected will be invited to pitch in front of a prestigious jury of retail and digital experts. At the end of deliberations, about twenty startups will join the incubator starting January 2019.
ATELIER BY ISEM [Spain]
Atelier by ISEM, the first Spanish vertical accelerator of fashion tech startups operates on the belief that the Spanish fashion industry goes hand in hand with innovative companies whose technology transform their value chain by making them more profitable, sustainable, and better oriented to the client.
With the objective to link solutions of technology startups to the necessities of businesses in the fashion industry, they are looking for startups that have an innovative approach and use disruptive technology. They can already have a product oriented to fashion companies or technology that makes sense for these types of companies when adequately adapted.
“We consider ourselves the meeting point between entrepreneurs, company managers with years of experience, venture capital, and business angels. Each accelerated company will have a personalised mentoring of former Accenture executives and training of specialists in the areas of digital marketing, corporate communication, finance, HR, legal aspects, among others,” states their press release.
Offering startups the opportunity to test their products or services with Spanish fashion companies such as Aristocrazy, Bóboli, Camper, El Corte Inglés, El Ganso, Mango, Mayoral, and Tendam for up to seven months. Besides the two training sessions to the startups, Atelier by ISEM will also offer the support and experience of ISEM Fashion Business School, the only business school specialised in the fashion sector.
WE IN SOCIAL TECH [UK]
There is a new accelerator programme for women called We in Social Tech. Aimed at female founders involved in Tech for Good, the applicants are 50% owners of a business (or startup) that has some social objective/output. Leading the London based accelerator is spokesperson Ghislaine Boddington.
The relatively low-key accelerator has been designed to help women to make a significant step change and meet their business aspirations, with support from mentors, consultants, coworking space and a unique programme of lots of more. We cannot wait to see what women-led businesses We in Social Tech will be working with.
Founding editor-in-chief of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta is currently one of the leading influencers writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology. She has also given talks at Premiere Vision, Munich Fabric Start and Pure London, to name a few. Besides working as a fashion innovation consultant for various fashion companies like LVMH Atelier, Muchaneta has also contributed to Vogue Business, is a senior contributor at The Interline and an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion, UAL.