What are the basic requirements to apply?
We are open to any innovations at the intersection of fashion, retail, and technology. Yes, that is broad, but the Fashion and Retail Partners want to see everything from CRM, peer-to-peer commerce, brick and mortar sales and merchandising tools, actionable data insight display, iBeacon, to whoever cracks the nut on the virtual shopping layer with augmented reality. If you have that covered, then we will also need to see a robust, functional beta along with a solid founding team that includes one technical member. Check? Okay then, lastly the founder/cofounders must be located in NYC for the 12 weeks (March - June).
In 2016, we updated our criteria and will only accept applications from Women-led Companies. There must be a women on the management team with significant equity stake. She will serve as the lead representative from the company and the point of contact for the program. Please have that company representative complete the application.
Is there a fee for applying or joining the program?
For those companies accepted into the program, there is a $2,500 participation fee. In support of our mission to promote women-led ventures and to fuel the growth of Springboard's Global network, we also encourage you to make a commitment to provide a 1% warrant donation. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the commitment letter or a template for donating warrants.
There is also a $250 non-refundable application fee to apply and ensure quality of review by our team and senior, decision-making executives at our Lab Partners.
We do not currently live in the United States. Can we still apply?
Yes, you can still apply. However, you must have eligibility to work in the United States and/or obtain visas on your own. The NYFT Lab will not sponsor visas.
Member(s) of senior management work for one of the participating organizations (PFNYC, Springboard, retailer, VC portfolio company, etc.) Can we still apply to the NYFT Lab?
Yes, but you must disclose your affiliation on your application form.
Our company has received funding already. Can we still apply to the NYFT Lab?
Yes, you can apply to the program even if you have received funding. If you have, please be sure to include details regarding past rounds of financing.
What is the NYFT Lab's policy regarding privacy and conflicts?
What if our company has concerns for competitive reasons about one or several of the participating fashion retailers reviewing our application?
Please note this concern in the "additional information" section at the end of the application along with the name of the company/fund with which there is a potential conflict. That company/fund(s) will not have access to your application during the initial review process. However, they will have access to the elevator pitch and basic corporate info (i.e. company name, address, contact).
What happens if we turn our application in late?
We will not accept late applications under any circumstances.
What stage of companies does the NYFT Lab focus on?
The NYFT Lab focuses on early and growth-stage companies with at least a beta technology/product, especially those which will benefit from the senior access and relationships at the Lab's participating retail institutions.
We are also interested in growth-stage companies that have a product being deployed outside fashion retail that are interested in entering the fashion retail vertical.
If our company is chosen for the NYFT Lab, how long do we have to stay in New York City?
Your company's founder/co-founders must be in New York City for the duration of the 12-week program.
If our company is chosen for the NYFT Lab, will we be provided space after the end of the program?
No, space is available only for the duration of the program. However, we will assist all NYFT Lab companies with the process of finding office space in New York City.