From the New York Fashion Tech Lab to azalvo project—here’s our rundown of the most reliable and renowned accelerators for fashion, lifestyle and retail tech startups.
For startups, it is futile to resist the urge to participate in an accelerator. After all, being accepted into an accelerator promises quick growth, significant investment and wisdom beyond one’s years. A study that compared two groups—one formed of companies that didn’t participate in any accelerator programs and another of those that did—found that the latter reached “key milestones”, including raising venture capital and gaining customer traction, faster than the former. So, to propel your fashion and retail tech startup forward, we have curated a list of the top accelerators to help your company grow.
Fashion Technology Accelerator
Launched in 2012 by Enrico Beltramini, Fashion Technology Accelerator helps fashion, retail tech and luxury startups navigate their business development. During the six-month program in Milan, Italy, participants refine their marketing, business development and fundraising skills. The primary goal of this accelerator program is to help your startup boost its revenue. In exchange for its resources worth over US$60,000, the program claims five percent of your startup’s equity.
New York Fashion Technology Lab
Is your fashion tech startup led by women? If yes, then this accelerator program is for you. The New York Fashion Technology Lab (NYFTL) is driven to help women-led startups leave a mark in the business world. It does so by providing a three-month program wherein startup leaders get to interact with senior executives, investors and entrepreneurs. The program ends with a Demo Day, wherein, as the name suggests, participants must provide a demo of their product or service.
The program caters to startups in the fashion, design, lifestyle and retail tech field that want to expand their business in Asia. Azalvo Project, powered by Jumpstart, offers a 12-week program—from March to June—open to startups from all around the world. What sets this program apart is that it takes place in a hybrid format—startups can choose to attend in-person in Hong Kong or online; the quality will remain the same. Every week, startups will commit 3.5 hours to the program—an hour for webinars geared towards business refinement, two hours for networking and 30 minutes for one-on-one sessions.
This program will help you gain a deeper understanding of how your offering fits into the Asian markets. You’ll also get the opportunity to procure commercial contracts and secure investment for your startup as the Azalvo Project invests into startups at fair market valuation.
Head to Milan for a three-month long accelerator program hosted by Startupbootcamp FashionTech, supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Launched in 2010 in Copenhagen, the boot camp caters to a wide range of startups across countries, including Australia, Russia, India, the USA and more. It helps you network with top brands like Prada, Armani, Valentino and many more. Plus, the program boasts an average funding of over US$900,000 and contributes to your growth even after the program ends.
Atelier by ISEM Fashion Business School
Atelier’s accelerator program launched in 2017 to change the landscape for fashion, beauty, retail and e-commerce tech startups in Spain. Atelier, in collaboration with Universidad de Navarra, offers a seven-month program. Throughout this, you also get to test your product in stores. The program is hosted in collaboration with some of the most well-known fashion and beauty brands, such as Pepe Jeans, MANGO and Sephora. You get to display your product in stores like these and gain real-time feedback to help elevate your product.
Knowledge is at the heart of business success. The more you know about your business and its development, the better you will get at making crucial decisions. For that, you need mentors, established entrepreneurs and well-engineered lessons—all of which you can gain from participating in accelerator programs. So, go on and pick the right program for your startup today!
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