For a startup, finding investors can make or break a project, and in the world of crowdfunding, hackathons and accelerators finding the right investors can be a daunting task. The New York Fashion Tech Lab aims to change all that.What is New York Fashion Tech Lab?
At its core the lab is an accelerator, produced by Partnership Fund for New York City, Springboard Enterprises and a team of fashion retail leaders. The program is focused on helping to develop the future of fashion tech. NYFTL is essentially curating startups in the fashion tech space for investors, which allows the companies that are accepted to work more efficiently within the community that will develop around the program. Fashion tech companies won’t have to compete with education and healthcare technologies at other major accelerators.
For the startups themselves, NYFTL stands apart from other more generic accelerators in the sense that the program is relevant to the industry, and elevating the impact that the program will have on the individual companies. That impact is not only from the money, which we all know is important, but the community that was mentioned before plays a major part in the benefits of being accepted to the lab. Thanks to collaborations with companies like Ann Inc., The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., J. Crew, Kate Spade and Company, Macy’s and Ralph Lauren Corporation, the startups will have access to industry insight that is often hard to find without some well placed connections. Though the networking opportunities are basically laid out for each startup to take advantage of, brand access and feedback from proofs-of-concept with industry insiders will raise the bar for what we as an industry expect of the companies looking to leave their mark on fashion tech.
Should you apply to the New York Fashion Tech Lab?
The program is accepting applications now, and is looking for startups that consist of at least one technological team member and a beta version of their technology. Of the applications received, four to six companies will be accepted and will work for 12 weeks in NYC with the NYFTL network, presenting their technology at a demo day for industry leaders and members of the press.
What type of companies should apply?
The accelerator is open to all startups that will have an impact on the fashion tech space, but have provided this list as a starting point:
- 3D Printing
- Business Intelligence
- Data Standardization
- Data Visualization
- Mass Customization
- Mobile/Tablet Commerce
- Point of Sale
- SKU Intelligence
- Social Commerce
As you can see, the spectrum is pretty broad just in the suggestions of what NYFTL and their partners are looking for, and with interest in the future of mobile/tablet commerce, mass customization and iBeacon, we’re pretty excited to see what comes out of this fledgling accelerator.
Applications for the first round of NYFTL startups will end April 4, so if you’ve got the next great fashion tech startup, take a look at their application!
Launching in one of the categories listed above? Connect with us, we’d love to get to know you!
Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.
Jeff Wilber is a guest writer from TheFreelanceRider.