Breakfast with 5 Innovative Startups and NYFTL

Last week, we held our third Disruptors Breakfast in partnership with accelerator New York Fashion Tech Lab (NYFTL), of which Li & Fung is a founding member.

The NYFTL is an accelerator that was cofounded by the Partnership Fund for New York City, Springboard Enterprises and major fashion retailers. It focuses on early- and growth-stage women-led companies that have developed innovations that apply to the intersection of fashion, retail and technology. NYFTL offers a 12- week program that runs from March to June, in which eight to 12 women-led companies receive mentoring and collaboration support; access to relevant user groups at fashion retailers; the ability to participate in meetings with senior business executives, investors and experienced entrepreneurs; and invitations to workshops and panel discussions on issues relevant to fashion tech companies.

Our breakfast featured five innovative startups, not limited to the fashion arena, which introduced themselves to a crowd of Li & Fung employees and friends.

Dropel Fabrics is developing the world’s first water- and stain-repellent (i.e., hydrophobic) cotton textiles. The fabrics are designed to retain the softness of cotton, but are enhanced with the ability to repel water and stains. In a live demo, the company’s CEO demonstrated a swath of fabric repelling both coffee and red wine. The company is working on developing fabrics that repel other materials, too, such as oil-based liquids.

Gigzolo (a combination of “gig,” referring to a job or musical performance, and a variation on “solo”) is an online booking marketplace that connects consumers and musicians, photographers and other artists for events and performances. The platform enables event planners to find talent based on price and other parameters, leading to a mutual agreement between the booker and the talent. Experienced musicians vet the talent for quality, cohesiveness and experience.

Nineteenth Amendment is pursuing an innovative approach to fashion and apparel manufacturing. Rather than first manufacturing and then discounting apparel, the company presents exclusive designer collections from around the world in 19-day presales, allowing customers to preorder at a discount. It presents trend-setting collections on its website for 45 days at a time, according to season.

Perch offers interactive display technologies in which products are arranged on a white tabletop, which also serves as a screen for projected video. The system uses a projector and camera that enable it to offer an interactive experience for consumers, with functionality similar to that of a touchscreen device. The tabletop is the canvas for advertising or information gathering, and the images displayed can change when the consumer picks up an item. The consumer can also swipe along the tabletop in order to receive product and other information. Perch offers vertical display cabinets with similar functionality. Additionally, via a subscription model, Perch customers can receive data on consumer interactions with products.

StyleSage offers data-driven, actionable insights to fashion brands and retailers in order to help them make better business-critical decisions in merchandising, planning and wholesale. Its platform collects data on colors, sizes, geographies and other categories from vendors worldwide. It then analyzes this data to provide information to its customers on apparel offerings, as well as intelligence on market gaps and opportunities. We enjoyed the opportunity to hear from these amazing startups and look forward to hosting future breakfasts in New York and Hong Kong!

We enjoyed the opportunity to hear from these amazing startups and look forward to hosting future breakfasts in New York and Hong Kong!