Farfetch unveils start-up project, Burberry is first partner
Farfetch has been a major retail disruptor in its relatively short history and now the company is setting out to find the next wave of tech firms that will make an impact with the launch of a start-up incubator that’s also being supported by Burberry.
Its Dream Assembly tech accelerator aims to develop promising start-ups selected by its own experts, as well as by Burberry (with which it signed a major retail deal several months ago), and by venture capital company 500 Startups.
The Dream Assembly programme will be based out of Farfetch’s offices in Lisbon and will include a series of workshops, one-to-one sessions with senior leaders within Farfetch and mentorship meetings covering topics including e-commerce, marketing, technology, fashion, logistics and operations, “giving start-ups direct access to Farfetch’s expertise in the luxury fashion and technology industries, over the course of 12 weeks.”
The company, which is said to be planning a $5 billion IPO, said its wants to “give back” to the start-up community.
500 Startups, which has mentored and coached thousands of entrepreneurs through its Silicon Valley based Seed Accelerator program, will also provide sales and marketing expertise for Dream Assembly companies, including one week in San Francisco and one week in Lisbon during the 12-week programme.
Farfetch Chief Strategy Officer Stephanie Phair said the project should also help it find new approaches to retail and create “a better luxury shopping experience.”
Daniel Heaf, SVP Digital Commerce & Digital Marketing at Burberry, added: “We are delighted to deepen our relationship with Farfetch by partnering with them on the inaugural Dream Assembly accelerator. We believe open innovation, collaboration and sharing our expertise with earlier-stage companies will encourage more creativity across the whole luxury sector.”
Start-up incubators are becoming increasingly important in the retail sector with John lewis having run one for several years and LVMH having announced its own incubator, La Maison des Startups, in Paris a few weeks ago. And of course, Farfetch co-chair Natalie Massenet unveiled her own new start-up-focused venture capital firm in the past few days.
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