WHAT DO YOU DO FOR MONEY HONEY?

Most of us at The Retail Practice learned about life from AC/DC’s Back in Black LP. We are finally applying this knowledge to support the fundraising efforts of up-and-coming UK and US fashion brands, fashion technology and retail tech start-ups. Here’s a round up of the latest deals on offer for the young wannabe FashTech unicorns out there.

 For the FashTech cool kids: Are you in fashion technology but feeling restless? New opportunities are emerging as Asos.com and Wayra combine forces to offer funding for the coolest FashTech kids on the block. Although aimed at scale-ups rather than start-ups, the deal for winners offers solid funds, support and mentorship, as well as ASOS commitment to buying tech solutions from the winners for their own use and piloting it as first customers. This one is going to be sizzling hot – apply before 23rd May.

For the tech wearables enthusiasts: Not to be left behind on the fashion accelerators’ bandwagon, Topshop is launching TopPitch, aimed at start-ups that have bright ideas for fashionable wearables. Yes, we know it’s an oxymoron, but someone has to crack it and Topshop wants to be part of the work. If you can make women love wearables in the passionate way we love our shoes, call Topshop now and apply before 22nd May.

For the luxury fashion diehards: Fashion diehards will cheer on Farfetch.com getting a vote of confidence from new investors. The luxury platform that acts as a webshop for luxury boutiques worldwide has attracted the roving eye of Far East investors and bagged $110m of funding. Farfetch has a persuasive omni-channel model aimed at top spenders, but no signs of profits, yet; however, that didn’t stop Net-a-porter from selling the unprofitable business to Yoox for £1.4bn in 2015. Big bets from big investors but the channel shift is real as the high street moves online. Makes sense.

For the cost-savvy fashionistas: If your dream start-up is more fashion than tech, look no further. To kick-start a new brand you need a modest £20-25k and funds over that amount are available at government-backed Start-Up Loans. Anyone with a viable and creative fashion product or brand idea can apply, but it helps if you’ve already produced and road-tested the first samples. Money, but more importantly back-up and mentoring, are available as a package at a fairly reasonable 6% interest rate. What’s not to like?

For the High Street treasure hunters: For innovation inspo, have a look at Angry Birds’ parent company Rovio. Not too worried about collapsing revenues, the plucky Finns are releasing Angry Birds Action, a mobile game that lets high street shoppers unlock extra mini-games by scanning special Bird QR codes on products in stores, with the likes of Lego, McDonalds and H&M participating. Consumers love bargain hunting online, so why not let them treasure hunt in stores? Retail must be a lot more fun and offer engagement if it’s going to survive in its physical format – Rovio may be on to something.

Two free slots are available next week for the pre-pitch battle crammer with The Retail Practice, which is aimed at those brave souls that want to apply for the above accelerators. We’ll help with your deck, offer tips on a winning pitch strategy and apply a sanity check for your business model. Get in touch now at hello@theretailpractice.com.