We are running Startup Weekend London Fashion & Technology at WeWork next Friday (18th Sep) and lots of people have been asking us what the ‘Fashion & Tech Industry’ is.
Is Fashion & Tech about fashionistas designing garments? Not in our view. It’s about bringing style, utility and the Internet of things (IoT) to the masses and its arguably the hottest market at the moment blending in 3D printing with web APIs, exciting mobile apps and sexy web portals incorporating the best in social media interactivity.
You might be asking yourself how you will manage to create the next connected shoes that allow you to track your daily activities in only 54 hours, right? That is a good question. It is true that we expect you to come up with a prototype of your business idea at the end of the weekend but a clarification needs to be made on the word ‘prototype’. It can mean a basic version of your product, such as a connected shoe but it can also be the first version of your web/mobile app, a landing page presenting your idea or even design sketches and wireframes! Our judges are more interested in hearing about the hypotheses you made on Friday night and how you tested them with potential stakeholder and customers’ feedback.
To help you find inspiration for the weekend, here are 6 hot startups in the fashion and tech industry that are rocking it:
Headquarters: Vilnius, Lithuania
Secondhand clothing marketplace Vinted has raised $32.6 million from Insight Venture Partners and Accel Partners, most recently in a Series B round in January 2014. Founded by Justas Janauskas and Milda Mitkute, Vinted is a peer-to-peer marketplace for girls and women to buy, sell and swap clothes that also serves as a social network by allowing users to chat. The startup began in 2008 as a small community for Lithuanian girls, but now has over 7 million users in eight countries and is handling over 200 million requests per day.
Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark
Miinto, based on an idea by high school entrepreneurs Konrad Kierklo, the other co-founder, and Mike Radoor, aims to do for clothes what Just Eat does for food, bringing its fashion-hungry customers in four countries more than 200,000 items of clothing (and other “fashion products”) from 1,300 shops.
The company, which raised $560,000 in a 2013 seed round, uses Web crawlers to scrape data about fashion trends, pricing and sales from fashion labels and retailers. It uses this information to design what it has determined customers want, in the form of its Blake & Co. womenswear and its 9fountains menswear labels. New collections are released every six weeks, allowing LIFT12 to react quickly to new trends – whether that means restocking popular items, designing variations of it, or stopping to sell items when they go out of style.
Headquarters: Menlo Park, California (U.S.)
Inveterate shoppers always looking to add one more thing to their closet have a problem: Their closets don’t usually expand just because their wardrobes do. Mobile closet swap Poshmark allows women to empty some hangers, fund their next shopping spree and go on said spree all in one place, which they can access through the company website or their phones or iPads. Poshmark also has a social element: Posh Parties, as the company calls its themed, which are real-time sales. It takes care of postage and says it refunds payments if an order doesn’t arrive or the item doesn’t match the description.
Headquarters: Warsaw, Poland
Founded in 2012 by Michal Juda, Jasiek Stasz and Nick Sergeant, Showroom is an e-commerce platform that facilitates clothing purchases from independent fashion brands and designers from Central and Eastern Europe, with the designers uploading photos and posting descriptions of the items themselves and consumers buying straight from the designers. In 2012 Burda International, publisher of Elle and nearly 300 other magazine titles, took a 25 percent stake in Showroom after an undisclosed investment. The startup has used Facebook to its advantage, tripling its traffic on the social media site in 2012 and doubling its turnover after users were asked to “like” their favorite products – except that Showroom called it “wow!” instead, Goal Europe reported.
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
High Fashion meets High Tech: WonderLuk gives confident, style-conscious women a destination where they can purchase customized avant-garde 3D printed fashion jewelry and accessories. All products are made to order near the customer, avoiding overproduction or waste. The company is based in London and was founded by Roberta Lucca and Andre Schober in 2013 before it was launched in April 2014.
In short, why not spend your weekend being part of a global disruptive movement acquiring the new skills of tomorrow. Join Startup Weekend and be a part of it! For those registering between the 12 to 13th of Sep use the 50% discount ‘SALE50’.