The collision of fashion and tech has spawned a cottage industry of those looking to shepherd the would-be disruptors into the ways of the industry.
Fashion incubators and accelerators like Pratt’s Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator, the New York Fashion Tech Lab and the CFDA Fashion Incubator have sprung up, designed to help budding industry talent get off the ground. The idea: new designers and young fashion-tech startups enter these programs to get access to resources and to find a sense of support through a like-minded community. In exchange, the teams running the incubators and accelerators get access to the industry’s upcoming technology and talent, helping them build relationships with investors and retailers.
While each incubator and accelerator offers its own benefits to participating startups and designer — a partnership with a major retailer, a grant, a workspace — they’re not all created equal, and some don’t always have the young companies’ best interests at heart. For entrepreneurs with an idea and a dream, choosing the right incubator or accelerator is an important decision — and not an easy one.
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