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- business, fashion, fast track program, technology
Fast Track Program’s latest edition has just ended, and we are excited to tell you more about it!
Fast Track Program is for start-ups. In this case, we have welcomed to our office four start-ups, from four different countries and two continents, have gathered in Milan to participate in our full-time, one-week training program to meet, learn from and interact with our network of mentors. The training was planned for aspiring start-ups, at the seed or pre-revenue stage, willing to deepen their knowledge about business strategy, fashion, and digital development. Four very different start-ups, ranging from B2B to B2C model, but linked through their solid fashion-tech soul, have chosen FTA in order to boost and kick-start their businesses.
Among them, Oola Sportswear from Qatar. The three co-founders, starting from their own pain to find proper clothes to practice sports, have designed a stylish modest sportswear project. The line is suitable for all those Muslim women that are wishing to train outdoor but always preserving consistency with their roots and values. After attending the program, they’ve also launched a crowdfunding campaign to strengthen their brand, and the results are amazing: they have finally raised 225% of their goal.
Changeable is a startup from Jordan, aiming to design an interchangeable line of clothes that let women vary some features of their dresses and play with the wardrobe: nobody could guess you are wearing the same piece!
Relevant technological aspect is a basis for the other two businesses who attended the Fast Track Program: the team of XShuu from Lithuania developed a technology that enables users to control the design patterns and colors of theirs shoes and bags, simply through an app installed on their smartphones.
Finally, Lux Media from Slovenia: their fashion-tech product consists of a smart mirror that, located in the dressing rooms of a retailer, will help the business to increase conversion rates and consumers’ engagement.
The training started with two introductive lectures held by FTA team concerning the crucial requirements and actions that each start-up should implement in order to become a fruitful business. Starting from the on-going definition of venture where the keywords stand in temporary business, search, repeatable and scalable business model, small team and high risk of failure, participants went through the Business Model Canvas, the most-known international strategic tool for growing an innovative business – and how to set up a business that makes sense!
The value proposition is the starting point: it is imperative to understand the pain alleged, the gain of the potential users and the decision trigger. Also, all the quantitative aspects that each start-up has to deal with were presented: you must be able to measure your results! Carlo Tassi, Italian Angel for Growth, merged his talk with this first part and mastered different topics, from the fundraising stages to what investors look for before risking their money: what first matters is the team, followed by the idea – “but idea is not our business!” he said to the entrepreneurs – the business model and the market.
Francesca Romana Rinaldi, Milan Fashion Institute, and SDA Bocconi presented the business models of the fashion industry, whilst Marie-Pierre Schickel, from Domus Academy, remarked the importance of building a strong and lifelong brand, with a clear identity and positioning. If not, your business cannot survive in the competitive arena!
Macro-trends of the sector were presented both from Federico Bonelli, Principal at Boston Consulting Group, and Stefania d’Andrea, Marketing Manager at Vente Privée. Starting point was the transition from high-tech to social and mobile: consumers, especially Millenials, have changed their attitudes towards brands and they have a new bunch of needs: omnichannel experience is imperative to reinforce the brand value and brand equity, and to increase loyalty.
Moreover, companies are dealing with huge amount of data which, if carefully managed, are strategic tools for managers. Such amount of data requires to be treated lawfully: Mario Pozzi, from Rodl & Partners, covered hot topics ranging from trademarks, patents, copyright and all the infringement-linked categories that a business has to deal with, especially, for aspirant start-ups, those related to the e-commerce platforms.
Nowadays another trend is social media: Alessandro Pacetti, digital PR of Hogan, made clear, through the presentation of Hogan Case Study, that the digital strategy should be carefully implemented. A cool website is not enough!
Last but not least, a more technical lecture on user experience was offered by Fabian Niederkofler and Matteo Lo Manto, co-founders at studio Glue Glue and Andrey Golub, ELSE CORP, concludes the cycle of mentoring sessions with a talk on the evolution of retail, giving proof of the advantages of cloud systems in order to implement an effective omnichannel experience and the imperative necessity to integrate online and offline channel.
The training week concluded with nothing more than the pitch presentation of the four start-ups. Each of them had the opportunity to present their idea and business model to several investors and industry experts who gave them precious feedbacks and thoughts on how to better implement their strategy.
If you are a young entrepreneur wishing to learn, getting feedbacks and networking in a digital environment where fashion and tech blend together, and you want to receive more information about FTA one week full-time training Fast Track Program