How to get into the leading accelerator for fashion startup
Seed accelerators, also known as startup accelerators, are fixed-term that include mentorship and educational components. There are specific types of seed accelerators. Marco Filocamo is Head of Startups for Fashion Technology Accelerator and he has a multi-year experience managing different projects in operations management and data analysis, especially regarding B2B-oriented production companies.
We’ve asked him a few questions:
What happens at FTA?
Fashion Technology Accelerator in Milan is a management consulting firm, providing business acceleration to startups and young enterprises operating at the connection between the industries of fashion and technology.
We offer different activities for international startups and companies operating in this field such as acceleration programs, training programs, seminars, corporate activities and events.
Our peculiar focus on Fashion & Technology enables us to offer 360° customized advisory, industry-specific activities and valuable business development opportunities with potential partners and customers.
What is the Fast Track program?
Fast Track Program is an intensive weekly program for early stage fashion technology startups, fully immersed in the heart of Milan fashion scene. The program lasts for one week, which allows the companies to learn and interact with our broad network of mentors.
The focus is on topics such as business strategy, digital skills and the dynamics of the fashion industry. The next edition will be from the 3rd to the 7th of July.
What are accelerators looking for when it comes to a startup founding team?
A diverse team is one of the keys to be accepted into any accelerator or incubator. Considering our acceleration’s requirements, the focus is on the experience of the founders, their knowledge of the fashion industry, how efficiently they are separating their activities and their technical background.
What’s the secret to be accepted?
The company should be already established in the market, having sold their products (either physical items or software) and tested the value proposition before applying so that it already has the necessary KPIs to correctly evaluate the company, even at an early stage. Moreover, the company must have a technical focus and a strong connection with fashion as we would not consider solely creative brands.
The next edition will be from the 3rd to the 7th of July
What advice can you give to a fashion startup that wants to approach your accelerator program?
Our website offers a lot of information about how the acceleration program is managed, as well as our other activities. Clearly define your expectations from our side and your development stage, so that it will be much easier to define if there is a fit with us, especially regarding activities such as the business development or fund-raising.
For example, we won’t reach out to our network for a company that is not part of our portfolio, but we could provide guidance for early stage startups through our training programs. Moreover, we receive more than 300 applications per year so your positioning should be properly stated also taking into account your competition (either current or potential).
How long does your startup accelerator program last?
The acceleration program lasts for 6 months, in which the startup follows a dedicated and customized plan of action through weekly meetings and sessions with our advisors, as well as our internal team.
What are startups generally missing out on?
We follow the startups in a variety of tasks (definition of a marketing strategy, sales analysis, fund-raising, website optimization, general management), the needs change depending on the background of the founders.
Something that is often overlooked is a clear and structured analysis of the data already gathered by the startup (sales, KPIs on the website, customer information), as well as a clear definition of the sales strategy to approach the market.
The personas and the marketing strategy are most of the times only sketched, so we help the company structure them in a coherent flow to allocate more time to crucial tasks.
What happens when the program ends?
After the six months, there is still an ongoing relationship between the company and the accelerator which is focused on specific requests, such as a feedback on the sales documentation or additional preparation for an upcoming fundraising round. We keep strong ties with the startups, highlighting new partnerships or opportunities even though we do not interact with them on a weekly basis.
Thanks for your time, Marco!
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