London Fashion District shortlists 14 retail tech startups

London’s Fashion District has revealed the 14 tech startups shortlisted for its Retail Futures 2020 competition.

The £15,000 challenge prize, sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, is focused on small businesses which believe their tech solutions could change shopping in the future, or revolutionise the retail supply chain to drive growth in an industry hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The shortlisted startups are offering up a range of solutions that include new augmented reality and 3D digital customer experiences, marketplaces for sustainable fashion, black-owned businesses and rental menswear, as well as artificial intelligence solutions to optimise supply chain efficiency.

In addition to the cash prize, the winner will receive a 12-month membership with Stylus, Westfield’s trends partner, providing access to cross-industry consumer insight. IBM will also provide the winner with technology advice and a bespoke action plan.

Two runners-up will receive £5,000 each and will receive one-year hotdesking memberships at The Trampery Fish Island Village, Europe’s largest campus dedicated to sustainable fashion and innovation.

The 14 finalists are:

• Alpha AR
• AnamXR
• Blaqbase
• Cerebra Technologies
• Compare Ethics
• DOV
• Favourup
• Little Black Door
• Lone Design Club
• Garmentry
• Gfaive
• Presize
• RoundRack
• Skinz

The finalists will be attending a one-day event in October where industry professionals will act as ‘critical friends’ to support and challenge their business propositions, providing constructive feedback before they pitch at the finals on 5 November.

These critical friends include representatives from Farfetch, Yoox-Net-a-Porter, Founders Factory, Tech Nation, True, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Stylus, IBM, Fashion Innovation Agency, London Waste and Recycling Board, Podmore Consulting, and Lewis Silken.

Harita Shah, director of brand, creative, media and events at Unibail Rodamco-Westfield, said: “2020 has been a year of huge acceleration of trends which has fostered creativity and ingenuity - just what we need to explore and reshape the industry going forward."

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