I have been an active member of the Fash&Tech community for nearly 2 years. I am inspired by the ideas and the work of other members, which is why I am so excited to write about the the first ever formal FashTech startups delegation to the U.S. It is an initiative of the Israeli Economic Mission in San Francisco, in collaboration with the Israeli economic mission in New York, the Fash&Tech community, Galvanize and the California Fashion Association.
Tomorrow (December 5th) 10 selected startups from the Israeli FashTech industry will visit the U.S in a three-day intensive Roadshow. The 10 startups were chosen based upon their product innovation, product maturity and for their solid, promising team. Their relation to the B2B industry and ability to offer partnerships with retailers were also taken into account.
150 meetings in 3 days – when do we eat? – The coordination for the delegation was done via a designated Whatsapp group
The journey will surely be a challenging one. The teams will spend each day in a different state, starting with one day in NY on the East Coast, followed by a 6 hour flight to the West Coast for a day in SF. The third and last day will be spent in LA along with the local fashion industry.
Each day will include 1:1 meetings with potential investors, retailers, accelerators as well as other opportunities. In each city, founders will also have the opportunity to pitch their venture to a room full of investors and industry experts. The tour is a first of its kind for the Israeli FashTech community.
The 10 selected FashTech startups
Among the fortunate startups are Nettelo, fitfully, Zeekit, Sizer and Hexa, all of which offer various technology innovations that bring 3D and visualization into fashion. Nettelo, fitfully, Zeekit and Sizer, each in their own way deal with one of the significant barriers of the e-commerce industry is lacking the ability to visualize how well clothes or shoes would fit. Hexa enables consumers to visualizes clothing in 3D, making online shopping a more tangible and visual experience.
Yehiel Atias presenting Hexa at a recent Fash&Tech pitch night event. Credit: Hagit Stavinsky
Batia MAlach Sepherd presenting Fitfully at a recent Fash&Tech pitch night event. Credit: Hagit Stavinsky
Other intriguing companies in the delegation are Awear, an iOT venture that develops a frequent flyer type model for retail aimed to increase customer loyalty; Out-of-X, an exclusive crowdfunding marketplace for the fashion industry set out to lower manufacturing costs; Askourt who wants to increase customer engagement by sharing outfits on social media and receiving feedback from friends; Checkout Apps that is helping retailers to close the gap between the online and the offline by using smart interactive in-store display; and WISHI, a crowd-styling platform.
The Checkout Apps team led by Assaf Shapira and their smart display
Among the distinguished industry investors planned to participate in the meetups is L’Oréal, who has only recently invested strategically in the Founders Factory accelerator. L’Oréal chief executive Jean-Paul Agon was recently quoted “digital expertise will shape the iconic brands and companies of the 21st century. The mission of this new organization is to accelerate L’Oréal’s digital transformation regarding consumer experience, service-based innovation, customer service and technology platforms.” As a result, the company opened an incubator in SF, which could be promising for the Israeli delegation.
Yael Kleinnman, Director Of Business Development of the Economic Mission to the West Coast, who is orchestrating the delegation, believes there is a room for optimism. “We expect to see many collaborations from the dozens of meetings organized in the last few months. U.S companies such as Google shopping, Guess, Century21, kohl’s, Macys, Lucky Brand and more are very interested to meet the cutting edge technologies that are coming out of Israel.”
And the founders? they worked really hard during the last three months to arrive at this moment, in understanding just how big step this could be. Yael Vizel, founder of Zeekit, who already raised $9M, said: “To have such a broad spectrum of meetings in such a short period could take months to set-up and arrange for a young start-up, so the Israeli mission has done an impressive work!”
Fash&Tech is proud to take an active part in organizing the delegation. From selecting the startups to advising the economic mission. In New York a Fash&Tech Israel-New York (an NYC branch of Fash&Tech managed by Liraz Cohen) will also take part, in collaboration with Mapped in New York and eBay Innovation Center, where the startups will have a chance to present to the local community, investors and industry leaders.
As a member of the Israeli Fash&Tech community I’m keeping my fingers crossed and wish them all the best, recognizing this delegation as a small step for the startups and a big one for Israel’s Fash&Tech industry.
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