TrendSeeder has morphed into an accelerator for emerging fashion companies.
According to company founder Avani Patel, the New York-based firm began in 2012 as a consulting firm with an e-commerce platform. It decided in summer 2013 to become an accelerator, and in January tested its first 16-week curriculum for emerging brands. Three companies — footwear firm Alexander Isinhue, e-commerce apparel firm for petites Carolina Alvo and fashion jewelry firm Zoetik — participated in the test round.
TrendSeeder is now preparing for a second four-month program that is fashioned as if it were a mini-M.B.A. program taught by industry experts and covering topics ranging from branding to marketing, and fund-raising to finance and legal. The program also pairs business know-how with fashion expertise, as well as a mentoring component. Patel said it expects to select between five and 10 firms for the second accelerator round that starts in January. Applicants have to be in business for one year, have sold a collection for at least one season and have the company founder participate in the program full-time.
Companies whose executives participate in the program include, but are not limited to, Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren Corp., Rag & Bone, Tibi, Lyst, Comcast Ventures, Loro Piana and Bain Capital Ventures.
Funded primarily by a family office, TrendSeeder takes a small equity position in the firms that participate in the accelerator program.