The Road to Startup Success Is Paved by NY Fashion Tech Labs

Bootcamp for fashion startups? You’ll find it at NY Fashion Tech Labs. During an intensive 12-week program in New York City, hand-selected fashion tech companies are paired with major fashion brands (like kate spade new york and Alex and Ani) to refine and beta test their innovations.


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In this year’s inaugural class, eight startups were selected based on the strength of their ideas, including Perch, a company that adds interactive displays to retail items; Clothes Horse, which enables shoppers to get the right size and fit online; and Nineteenth Amendment, which connects emerging fashion designers with consumers and retailers through an interactive platform.

Kay Koplovitz, who runs the non-profit lab, states, “A lot of people have good ideas, a lot of people start companies, a lot of them can’t get to the next level – and it’s not the money, usually – it’s really having the customer base, having proof of concept, having validation.” But that’s not all this course can give them.

Mary Beech, the chief marketing officer at kate spade new york, explains that the startups will learn how to market their products in new, engaging ways. “We need them to get to the point of their pitch, and quickly. They’ve been living in this bubble of developing their app, their solution, and they need to come to me and explain how it’s going to impact my business.”

When the twelve-week course comes to a close, all eight companies will use the skills they’ve learned to pitch their collaborative business plans to a room full of potential partners and investors. And while none of the retail companies are obligated to work with the tech startups in the future, both parties reap the benefits of the collaboration. The big brands uncover new technology and help create more jobs in the technology sector while the startups are counseled to get their business off the ground.

With so many benefits and little-to-no risk, this new program is the future of both fashion and technology. Talk about a win-win.

By Brianna Lapolla, Staff Writer

What startup would you bring to the NY Fashion Tech Labs? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

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