Presenting DeFINE: The LCF supported European Fashion-Tech Network
Over the past few years, London College of Fashion, UAL have been working alongside nine other partners to build one of the largest fashion-tech communities in Europe. In the first of this two-part series about the DeFINE Network, you can catch-up on all the exciting activities the project has completed during that time, and learn how you can get involved with their growing community.
DeFINE is a three year (2018-2021) collaborative project co-funded by the European Commission’s COSME programme. The project aims to support the fusion of cutting-edge technologies with the European fashion and design industries through networking, physical and digital events, mentoring and knowledge sharing.
The project is made up of ten consortium partners from European countries, including leading art and design academic institutions, business innovation centres, associations and business support organisations. LCF works alongside these partners to support and maintain the growth of the community.
One of the key features of DeFINE is their bespoke mentoring programme. During the past three years, DeFINE has mentored 27 early-stage fashion-tech businesses, providing business, financial and technical support to help scale some of the most exciting fashion-tech ideas in Europe. LCF has been a vital part of the mentoring programme, supporting multiple businesses including Brarista, an AI bra-fitting software, Senstile, a textile digitisation platform and IL3X, an artificial-reality clothing marketplace.
Besides the mentoring programme, the project has also delivered numerous events throughout Europe, including in London, Paris, and Milan. The events have brought together hundreds of fashion-tech entrepreneurs together and fostered knowledge-sharing through Bootcamp training sessions and interactive panels. In the face of the Global pandemic, DeFINE has pivoted to producing digital events to continue their support for the fashion-tech community. At the end of April, the virtual DeFINE Forum 2021 will be taking place, and at the end of May, DeFINE’s official Showcase will launch, where fashion-tech entrepreneurs, academics, students and business support organisations will be able to attend virtual panels, networking events and round tables celebrating DeFINE’s fashion-tech community.
Although the mentoring programme is currently closed for applications, fashion-tech entrepreneurs, students and professionals can still access business support tools on the DeFINE platform. The Network’s interactive map is a unique, digital tool that has been created to facilitate connections with fashion-tech entrepreneurs and business support organisations. Using the map, individuals can compare different incubators and accelerators that are open to fashion-tech ventures, and can easily access detailed information about programmes that could help grow their business. The platform also hosts multiple webinars created with the community in mind. Webinar topics range from IP basics, to investment tips for fashion and fashion-tech entrepreneurs, to the historical and social development of the fashion-technology sector.
The DeFINE network is free to access and open to anyone interested in deepening their understanding of fashion-tech and developing more connections in the sector.
If this sounds like you, there are multiple ways you can get involved with the DeFINE community:
- Browse business support options across Europe using DeFINE’s Interactive Map
- Join the DeFINE LinkedIn Group to connect with like-minded individuals and view the different events and opportunities that are regularly shared.
- Register on the DeFINE Directory and browse fellow community members within the network.