Designers in search of some guidance or inspiration from the Milanese may get exactly that through the NYCEDC Global Business Exchange with Milan.
Building off a similar setup that New York City officials established with Paris, the Milan program is geared for an assortment of disciplines including tech, design, manufacturing, fashion, social entrepreneurship and food companies. By joining forces, representatives in both countries are trying to bolster their commitment to innovation and global entrepreneurship. Given the dominance of fashion and design in both New York and Milan, city officials expect a strong number of candidates from that sector. Up to 10 companies will be selected.
To be eligible, companies must show significant potential for international growth, a proven track record in their respective markets and a well-defined business plan. The tipping points could be which start-ups would benefit most from international expansion and which have the most potential for sustainable long-term growth.
Starting today, New York-based companies can apply for the program, which will give access to business opportunities in Milan and help Milan-based companies broaden their presence in New York. Established through a partnership with the city of Milan, the program is the second one of its kind under the NYCEDC’s Global Business Exchange, which links New York City-based start-ups with international cities while simultaneously attracting up-and-coming global talent to New York.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has supported a bevy of New York-based incubator programs to try to foster job growth. Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and Deputy Mayor of Milan Cristina Tajani agreed to put the deal in motion in a meeting.
In what appears to be a multitiered effort, NYCEDC is partnering with the Embassy of Italy in Washington D.C., the Consulate General of Italy in New York City, the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, and the European American Chamber of Commerce to provide support for the companies during their time in New York. Through its partnership with the NYCEDC Global Business Exchange, Delta is helping to support the next generation of global entrepreneurship.
Delta, the program’s sole sponsor, will provide travel credits for the participants, who will fly to Milan in September. They will be provided with office space for up to six months, as well as access to networking, mentors and potential investors, but they will not receive any financial support during their stay.
Both cities are driving forces in the $1.2 trillion worldwide fashion industry. Milan’s fashion industry is said to be a nearly $72 billion entity, while New York’s has more than 900 companies, generating nearly $11 billion in wages alone. New York’s fashion industry employs more than 184,000, accounting for 5.4 percent of the city’s workforce.
President Maria Torres-Springer plans to officially launch the Milan exchange program this morning at an awards breakfast for World Trade Week. Companies that want to be considered have until July 4 to apply.
There are currently two design-related companies taking advantage of the EDC’s exchange program in Paris — Tucker by Gaby Basora and Adam Frank Inc. When the Paris program wraps up in August, city officials will determine whether they will go forward with it again, according to an NYCEDC spokesman.
Reached in Paris Sunday, Basora said the exchange has resulted in “a beautiful collaboration project between Tucker and five French brands of different sizes — small, brand new, hundreds of years old…depending on the timing etc. perhaps it will turn into an ongoing project. The exact details and dates are being figured out and where we will house it.”
Basora added, “I am quite excited about the things we are putting together. Takes time, but the wheels were set in motion via the program.”