April 30 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

Topshop launches start-up accelerator programme

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Topshop has launched a start-up accelerator programme to find “stylish” and “functional” wearable technologies that will appeal to its consumers.

The British retailer will be partnering up with early-stage investment company L Marks to launch Top Pitch, which the brand will use to identify and co-develop prototypes to advance wearable technology.

Accessible

The retailer stated that it is searching for a product that is “in-demand with the Topshop customer, at a price that’s accessible.” The brand is aiming to develop products that can be rolled out in its stores.

The company is searching for start-up teams to join the programme, which will offer a bootcamp experience with opportunities such as mentoring and cash in exchange for access to its technology.

Successful start-ups will also be provided with their own office space at the Top Pitch Hub in Central London, and will have the opportunity to pitch to the retailer and to Arcadia Group Chairman Sir Philip Green.

The programme is available to pre-retail entrepreneurs and start-ups from any location around the world. Applications are open until 22nd May.

Desirable

Speaking about the aim of Top Pitch, Topshop Global Marketing and Communications Director Sheena Sauvaire said: “The merge of style and function has yet to have been seen in a true consumer-ready sense and our aim is to discover new-to-market, highly desirable product at accessible prices for our fashion-savvy customer.”

L Marks Chairman Stuart Marks described the programme as a “great opportunity” for entrepreneurs who are working on a wearable technology product.

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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