PARIS — Galeries Lafayette Group said Monday it has launched an accelerator for retail and fashion tech start-ups in partnership with global innovation platform Plug and Play, known for its investments in companies including PayPal and Dropbox.
The French department store chain will accept applications between June 1 and Aug. 22 for its first three-month mentoring program. A jury of Silicon Valley technology experts and senior executives from Galeries Lafayette Group and Plug and Play will reveal the 10 finalists on Sept. 26.
The Lafayette-Plug and Play accelerator will be based in a dedicated office in Paris. It will offer entrepreneurs services, workspace, contacts and capital investments. The coworking space will be open to outside mentors.
Edoardo Manitto, vice president of innovation and development at Galeries Lafayette Group, said it would be Plug and Play’s only partner in France for retail and fashion.
“With this accelerator, Galeries Lafayette Group brings innovation to the next level by creating a collaboration platform with high-potential start-ups and invent with them the fashion and retail businesses of tomorrow,” he said.
“In order to thrive in the future, we need to invest in innovation today,” added Saeed Amidi, founder and chief executive officer of Plug and Play. “This innovation platform will define retail and fashion in the upcoming years. For those who want to make a difference in these industries, Lafayette-Plug and Play will be that foundation.”
Plug and Play said its Tech Center is the world’s largest global technology accelerator and venture fund, with more than 350 start-ups and 300 corporate partners.