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. We talked with Jackie Trebilcock, NYFTL’s Managing Director, to get the scoop.
What is NYFTL, and who should apply?
The New York Fashion Tech Lab (NYFTL) was launched in 2014 in partnership with leading fashion and retail brands, targeting women-led early and growth stage companies developing innovations at the intersection of fashion, retail and technology. The 12-week program will take place from March – June 2017. Through a competitive process, the lab’s fashion and retail partners, Springboard Enterprises, and lab team members review submissions, and invite a number of companies to in-person interviews where ultimately six to ten companies are selected to enter the program.
Tell us about Springboard Enterprises.
Springboard accelerates the growth of entrepreneurial companies led by women through access to essential resources and a global community of experts. It is the leading network of influencers, investors and innovators dedicated to building high growth companies led by women. Since 2000, 642 Springboard portfolio companies seeking investment of financial and human capital for product development and expansion have raised $7.4 billion, created tens of thousands of new jobs, and generated billions of dollars in annual revenues. Over 80% of Springboard companies are growing as independent or merged entities, including 13 IPOs, more than 160 M&A, and many that are the technology engines of publicly traded companies. Springboard invites a select group of women-led healthcare and technology companies annually into the network to support these talented women innovators and to send a message that business success and investor returns all benefit from diversity in their companies and boardrooms.
What’s new or different this time around?
For a second year we are again focusing on female founders and co-founders. We require a female founder or co-founder or woman on the team with significant equity who can participate. We also have several returning and several new fashion and retail brand partners which will be announced when we announce the cohort in March.
What is the process like for startups that are accepted?
Companies selected to enter the program will receive:
- Collaboration with participating Fashion & Retail brands and senior access to relevant user groups for product feedback and potential deployment of proofs-of-concept.
- Meetings with senior business executives, investors, and experienced entrepreneurs via our Expert Network
- Workshops and panel discussions on issues relevant to fashion tech companies, such as: data optimization, proofs-of-concept, technology architecture and scalability, privacy, security, and broader industry trends.
- Co-Working Space access, Pitch Sessions & Demo Day Participation
- Ongoing access to the global Springboard expert network & alumnae community
Where and when should fashion tech startup entrepreneurs go to apply?
The deadline is December 12th, 2016 but please apply early so we have plenty of time to review. If there are questions, please feel free to email info (at) nyftlab (dot) com.
Sound like a good fit? Be sure to apply here and best of luck!
The NYFTL Founders photo by Tory Williams. 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.