Farfetch’s start-up mentorship program to focus on sustainability for its second edition

by Stephen Garner
José Neves, Founder, Co-Chairman & CEO at Farfetch
José Neves, Founder, Co-Chairman & CEO at Farfetch

Online luxury fashion platform Farfetch has opened applications for its technology accelerator program, Dream Assembly, now in its second year. The program was first launched in April 2018 to provide a cohort of start-ups access to an initiative of mentorship, networking opportunities, and early-stage funding. This year, Dream Assembly will be seeking applications from seed-stage start-ups which are for-profit but also drive social or environmental benefit with a focus on sustainability. Last year, in its inaugural year, Farfetch welcomed 11 start-ups, from 9 different countries.

Stella McCartney, a company which has long been a leader in sustainable luxury has joined Farfetch Dream Assembly for this next cohort. Global luxury fashion brand Burberry, which partnered with Farfetch on the launch of the inaugural Dream Assembly, returns for a second year.

The 10-week program will include a series of workshops, one-to-one sessions with senior leaders from Farfetch and partners, and mentorship meetings covering topics like e-commerce, marketing, technology, fashion, logistics, and operations, giving the start-ups direct access to Farfetch’s expertise in the luxury fashion and technology industries. Starting in Lisbon in April, the program will culminate in a demo day in London, where the companies will have the chance to pitch their projects to a selected pool of external investors for follow-on funding.

“Following a successful inaugural year, where we were lucky to meet and mentor some of the best new companies shaping the future of commerce, we are thrilled to be opening applications once again,” said Stephanie Phair, chief strategy officer at Farfetch. “We really believe that the fashion industry has a huge part to play in shaping a sustainable future, which is why with this new cohort, we want to open up the Dream Assembly opportunity to companies who are shaping the future of commerce in a sustainable way. It is a huge honor to have Stella McCartney and Burberry on board with us and we know our next cohort will benefit hugely from their insights and expertise as part of the program.”

“Once a start-up ourselves, Farfetch Dream Assembly is committed to supporting the best entrepreneurs and teams to scale to the next level,” added Cipriano Sousa, chief technology officer of Farfetch. “We hope that our program of mentorship and workshops across topics including technology, data, marketing, and people and talent, along with access to incredible industry partners will help foster the next wave of successful fashion technology companies.”

Claire Bergkamp, worldwide director of sustainability and innovation at Stella McCartney, said: “Through the years at Stella McCartney, we have been committed to developing work across all elements of sustainability. We have worked with several start-up companies with a focus on innovation and reducing negative impact and so the goal of Farfetch Dream Assembly is truly aligned with the work we do. We are so pleased to be supporting this initiative with the team at Farfetch.”

Applications to join Farfetch Dream Assembly’s second cohort are now open and will close at midnight GMT on Sunday, March 3, 2019. For more information and details of how to apply, including criteria, please visit www.dreamassembly.com.

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