Joe Fresh and Ryerson University have partnered to create The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation at Ryerson University.
The Joe Fresh Centre, located in downtown Toronto, is modeled after Ryerson University’s highly successful DMZ, Canada’s top-ranked university incubator. The mission of The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation is to accelerate Canadian start-ups in all fashion-related fields, including design, production, technology and professional services. This was made possible with a $1 million grant from Joe Fresh in 2015.
Joe Fresh has maintained a far-reaching commitment to the future of the Canadian fashion industry, including education and support of new business and design talent. The goal of The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation is to foster a 360-degree approach to mentorship that will best position emerging entrepreneurs for real world success.
A panel of leading fashion and business leaders will select top candidates to come to The Joe Fresh Centre in downtown Toronto to develop go-to-market strategies and accelerate their startups. Once selected, the new wave of businesses, or Joe Fresh Innovators, will join the 18-month program, where they will receive the following exclusive benefits:
The Centre is open to all Canadian individuals and businesses. To apply you must meet the below criteria:
*Except for residents of Quebec.Click here for contest rules
Application window: June 15, 2017 – July 27, 2017
Notification of acceptance: September 18, 2017
Joe Fresh Centre program: October 2, 2017 – March 30, 2019
Congratulations to the fifth cohort innovator winners Comfable, LeDaveed, and TypeSift!
TypeSift Inc., founded by Abhijeet Sarkar, helps small businesses make big decisions. Acting as a hub for sharing reports around your business, it lets users combine graphs from different Business Intelligence tools in one place, and share them around the company. For ad-hoc reports, users can ask natural language questions and see answers in the form of charts and graphs. As the only vendor-agnostic tool on the market, TypeSift lets the user embed visualizations from other tools, and mix and match between tools for deeper analysis. New users can hit the ground running, and everyone can be on the same page on what the data means.
Founded by former Bay Street executive Andrew Dale, LeDaveed is a fast-growing e-commerce brand focused on creating premium leather bags. LeDaveed is uncompromising on three key principles: offering timeless quality, adding a sense of freedom to your hectic days, and using business as a force for good. Their full-grain carry goods boast a striking combination of features rarely seen in luxury bags, blending functionality into a clean and classic aesthetic. They have become one of the first-ever leather goods companies in the world to achieve Certified B Corporation status for their exceptional performance on environmental and social standards.
Comfable Inc., founded by Neda Ghazi, is a Toronto-based dynamic and innovative tech company dedicated to promoting health, comfort, and sustainability. Their QSun wearable and companion app tracks sun exposure to help users find a healthy balance between sun protection and vitamin D production. QSun takes the guesswork out of sun protection, and is ideal for parents, outdoor workers, and those with sensitive skin or sun allergy.
Nudnik is a unisex kids clothing line (3 months - 3 years) that not only combats the growing global waste problem, but actively seeks to help solve it. With a combined twenty years in the waste management industry, each garment is sourced from upcycled fabrics, hand silk-screened, and cut and sewn locally in Toronto.
Authentic or Not is a fashion technology company that has created a patented platform that enables microchips to be seamlessly embedded into products. With the use of a smartphone, customers can hover over merchandise to confirm product authenticity and receive customized digital experiences instantaneously.
Omi Woods is a special occasion clothing line that explores and reimagines traditional African prints into timeless silhouettes. The brand embraces ethical low pact production practices, including eco-friendly dyes and zero waste. Omi Woods designs were recently featured in InStyle, Vanity Fair, Essence and E! News.
Sidebuy is a platform that enables Fashion and Lifestyle Brands to seamlessly discover influencers, automate promotional campaigns and measure campaign success. Founded by Mona Akhavi, her vision is to accelerate and optimize marketing social marketing initiatives for brands through a data-driven influencer platform. Akhavi has also built a network of 10,000 influencers across 150 cities throughout North America.
Adrenalease Inc. specializes in scientifically engineered Posture Performance Apparel. Their primary Posture Performance Shirt has integrated adjustable straps that work like Kinesio-Tape. Through proprioceptive feedback and muscle memory, the straps provide a gentle reminder to keep your posture in an upright position. Founded in May 2015 by Noureddin Chahrour and Elias Seif, the Adrenalease Inc. duo has since appeared on Dragon's Den season 10 episode 6, which aired on November 18, 2015. Adrenalease Inc. has recently expanded their line with the introduction of a Posture tank-top alternative and is slated to develop a Posture Sports Bra.
Founded by Michelle Shemilt, Nudy Patooty is a transformative undergarment that wicks away sweat before it becomes an embarrassing stain or damages your clothes. Each Nudy Patooty undergarment is proudly made in Canada with high-tech, moisture-absorbing fabrics that protect your wardrobe and keep you dry and comfortable all day.
Founded by James Yurichuk and Anthony DeBartolo, Wully is a premium lifestyle brand that designs outerwear made to perform in the coldest forecast while respecting nature. Each jacket is built with quality, warmth and functional style. Wullyis proud to use wildlife as inspiration rather than material. From the very beginning, the core of its philosophy stands on the principle of enjoying any environment while respecting nature.
Mario Christian, Heng Tang and Luca Daniel Lavorato founded Daniel Christian Tang with a vision to re-invent jewelry and push the boundaries of design. The jewelry created in the collections are true, one of a kind pieces of wearable art. Each piece is custom made from a single 3D printed file and cast in the finest materials. The fusion of innovative design and modern technology has created a jewelry collection that harmoniously blends modern style with timeless elegance inspired by the intersection of arts, fashion, and architecture.
Blanc de Noir, founded by Gonzalo de Cárdenas and Miah Mills, is a gender-neutral lifestyle brand focused on creating highly functional, timeless pieces. The aesthetic is minimalist, practical and elegant. Each collection is inspired by a global city and makes use of historical regional materials and crafting techniques.
Klothed, founded by Barry Fogarty, Paul Nykamp and Bhupinder Randhawa, is a curated, personalized men’s shopping and style-planning app. It enables users to quickly and easily create a personalized model that includes a selfie of their face, and a body shape and skin tone that resembles their own. They can then virtually try on clothes, share their looks with their social networks, purchase items, and plan what they're going to wear.
The Joe Fresh Centre is seeking Canadian startups in all fashion-related fields, including design, production, technology and professional services.
Product: womenswear; menswear; childrenswear; functional apparel (sport, medical, etc.); magazines; accessories; paid mobile apps; others.
Service: CRM; data standardization; data visualization; fashion buying; free mobile apps; others.
Fashion Technology: wearables; textile innovation; process innovation; geo-location, infrastructure, logistics; manufacturing, mass customization, merchandising; mobile/tablet commerce; omni-channel, personalization, point-of-sale; RFID, security, SKU intelligence; social commerce; others.
The Joe Fresh Centre and Joe Fresh Innovators will have access to the below shared equipment of the FZ:
The Joe Fresh Centre is an 18-month accelerator that accepts applications during specific contest cycles from high growth potential fashion-inspired companies that have proven traction and are ready to be accelerated to bring their companies to the next level. The JFC innovators receive exclusive benefits including mentorship from Joe Fresh executives, programming from industry experts, reimbursement of $5000 marketing and promotional expenses after the probationary period, and access to collective startup funding up to $50,000 at the end of the program, etc. JFC Innovators have access to the Fashion Zone incubator's facilities, equipment and services. The FZ incubator is continuously accepting applications on a rolling basis based on space availability and start-ups are not part of cohorts for a specific time period. The JFC highly recommends interested companies to also apply for the Fashion Zone at www.fashionzone.ca.
Joe Fresh Centre Innovators are subject to a 4-month probationary period at the start of the program. During this time, Innovators must be present in the FZ for a minimum of 24 hours per week, set milestones, review their progress with the Director, Community Relations on a bi-weekly basis, attend peer-to-peer meetings and CEO societies with advisors and mentors, and work with other start-ups and influencers to effectively build and scale their business.