If you’re a fashion tech startup looking to take things to the next level, you should know about (and apply to!) the New York Fashion Tech Lab. Here’s a look into what it’s all about:
What is NYFTL, and who should apply?
The New York Fashion Tech Lab (NYFTL) is a 12-week business development program established via a collaboration by Springboard Enterprises and the Partnership Fund for New York City. We are currently recruiting innovative companies at the intersection of fashion, retail, and technology for the second year of this program providing a select group of early stage tech businesses with unparalleled access to and collaboration with leading retail and fashion brands.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate their product (or prototype) and its applicability and benefit to the industry. Areas of interest include:
• Data standardization
• Optimization and visualization
• Customer engagement
Tell us about some of your success stories from last time.
The NYFTL program is designed to provide maximum exposure to decision makers, specifically those in charge of business development and technology solutions, in the fashion industry. Let’s let the participants speak for themselves about the value of the program:
“Lots of folks provide training about business planning, projecting financials and office space. This was very different … this program provided unprecedented access to purchase decision-makers from the leaders in the industry.”
Amanda Curtis of Nineteenth Amendment
“It was also about the camaraderie. Only another entrepreneur understands the pressures of entrepreneurship. It’s about being part of a community of entrepreneurs within your industry that support each other.”
Karen Moon of Trendalytics (in picture below)
“It’s a hard to come by and rare opportunity for B2B fashion startups to really test out their ideas with big name Retailers and brands where its difficult to get your foot in the door.”
Jade Huang of StyleSage
What’s new or different this time around?
The program delivered as expected the first year, so the only modifications we are making are to extend the recruitment and selection period which was highly compressed the first year. This ensures that our fashion and retail partners will have ample time to organize an internal team to work closely with each of the Lab companies.
What is the process like for startups that are accepted?
Lab companies selected for the 2015 program (by mid-February) must also agree to locate in New York City for the 12 week (March -June) program. During the program, Lab companies will schedule meetings with their assigned fashion and retail partners and have access to a number of industry experts, investors and business development advisers. The program concludes with a Tech Runway Demo Day presentation session attended by industry and investment professionals.
Can you offer any tips for applicants?
First and foremost, the applicants must have a working prototype of their technology solution that is targeted at solving challenges faced by the fashion industry. Applicants should also be aware of their audience, the fashion and retail partners. Demonstrate how your company could add value to and interest retailers.