“We really believe that the fashion industry has a huge part to play in shaping a sustainable future,” said Farfetch Chief Strategy Officer Stephanie Phair, “which is why with this new cohort, we want to open up the Dream Assembly opportunity to companies who are shaping the future of commerce in a sustainable way”. The luxury online fashion platform has just opened applications for its second accelerator program, which this year is looking to attract seed-stage start-ups that drive social or environmental benefit.
Launched last April, the Farfetch Dream Assembly has been designed to support the best entrepreneurs, teams and technology in order to build the next generation of fashion and retail. Over a period of 12 weeks, successful applicants, which last year included Carmen-backed personal styling app Wishi and peer-to-peer high fashion rental site Villageluxe, have access to mentorship, knowledge, networking opportunities and early-stage funding, to support them in their efforts to create meaningful innovations that will enable the retail industry in the future.
The 11 start-ups chosen to participate in the inaugural program were selected for their work on bridging new technologies, such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, with commerce, two key pillars of the Farfetch platform. But this year, the focus is firmly upon sustainability. To this end, Stella McCartney, well known for her commitment to eco issues, is supporting the initiative, joining last year’s industry partner Burberry, which is returning for a second year. “We have worked with several start-up companies with a focus on innovation and reducing negative impact and so the goal of Farfetch Dream Assembly is truly aligned with the work we do,” said Claire Bergkamp, Stella McCartney’s Worldwide Director of Sustainability and Innovation. “We are so pleased to be supporting this initiative with the team at Farfetch.”
This year, the program will span 10-weeks and will include a series of workshops, one-to-one sessions with senior leaders from Farfetch and its partners, and mentorship meetings covering topics such as e-commerce, marketing, technology, fashion, logistics and operations, giving the start-ups direct access to Farfetch’s expertise in the luxury fashion and technology industries. Starting in Lisbon in April, the program will culminate in a demo day in London, where the companies will have the chance to pitch their projects to a selected pool of external investors for follow-on funding.
Applications to join Farfetch Dream Assembly’s second cohort are now open and will close at midnight GMT on Sunday 3rd March 2019. Click here for more information.