Model on the catwalkPrada Resort 2020 show, Runway, The Piano Factory, New York, USA - 02 May 2019

MILAN — In a new development phase for the group, Prada is set to help start-ups build scale internationally.

The Italian luxury group said on Tuesday that it was kicking off a three-year collaboration with Startupbootcamp to launch a global innovation center in Milan dedicated to the fashion industry.

Startupbootcamp is a leading European network of corporate-backed accelerators helping start-ups to develop their business globally.

The Prada Group will participate in the “FashionTech” initiative as a supporting partner, which will involve the selection and support of the 30 best innovative start-ups offering advanced technological solutions that address market challenges. In particular, the group is especially interested in start-ups that create innovative solutions in marketing, retail and value chain.

Lorenzo Bertelli, head of marketing and communication, said creativity and innovation “have become essential drivers of competition in the luxury retail industry. Innovation means radical thinking: as part of this program, Prada will truly immerse itself in an inspiring creative process, drawing on new ideas and connections.”

Bertelli, son of chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada, has been strengthening the group’s marketing initiatives and relations with customers.

Earlier this year, he spearheaded a collaboration with Adobe to allow the deployment of advanced customer experience management solutions on a global scale, to analyze the interactions between brands and consumers across all of its online properties, including social networks and its global retail network, which comprises 634 stores.

He joined the Prada group in September 2017 as head of digital communication to support the company’s digital transformation. He is ramping up the fashion house’s e-commerce to reach global coverage by 2020 and developing digital projects to drive brand engagement and boost operational efficiency and effectiveness through new technology.

In line with these strategies, as reported, in April Prada announced a collaboration with Oracle to support efficiency across the group’s retail processes. The collaboration with Oracle’s retail cloud services will help Prada analyze historical data and current market demands across its stores globally.

Alceo Rapagna, ceo of Startupbootcamp Italy, said Prada will offer “a great mentorship and growth opportunity for the start-ups that we will jointly select.” Founded in 2010, Startupbootcamp is active with more than 20 hubs in all continents and it selects 200 start-ups every year from more than 20,000 applications.