Joe Fresh and Ryerson University have partnered to create The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation at the Fashion Zone at Ryerson University.
The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation will incubate, develop and support Canada's fashion inspired businesses. Participating companies and individuals will receive exclusive benefits to hone their business models and skills. The Centre is seeking Canadian startups in all fashion-related fields, including design, production, technology and professional services.
The Centre is an initiative of The Joe Fresh Fund, a philanthropic vehicle that provides grants and assistance to a range of industry and non-profit causes supported by Joe Fresh.
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:
One dedicated working desk in the Centre (valued at over $380/month)
One flex desk in the Centre or Fashion Zone at Ryerson University (valued at over $250/month)
Eligible marketing and promotion expenses up to $5,000. Access TO Fashion Zone at Ryerson University's equipment and facilities
A chance to be showcased on JoeFresh.com or at Joe Fresh events
Mentorship and networking opportunities with Joe Fresh and Ryerson leadership teams as well as Canadian business and fashion leaders
Academic recognition from Ryerson University following completion of the program
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, 2016 – July 28, 2016
Notification of acceptance: September 8, 2016
Joe Fresh Centre program: October, 2016 – March, 2018
Application window: January, 2017 – February, 2017
Notification of acceptance: April, 2017
Joe Fresh Centre program: May, 2017 – October, 2018
Mario Grauso is currently President of Joe Fresh, one of Canada’s leading fashion retailers. In this role, he oversees all Joe Fresh retail, design, merchandising, production and marketing functions. Under Mario’s leadership, Joe Fresh has embarked on an ambitious international expansion, opening stores with partners in the rapidly developing fashion markets of South Korea, Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Alixe Boyer is the Senior Vice President of Brand Development at Joe Fresh, with global oversight of marketing, advertising and communications. In this role, Alixe crafts brand identity and consumer messaging, leading teams in Toronto and New York that create and execute the brand’s integrated marketing campaigns. Alixe serves on the advisory board of Artists for Peace and Justice, which supports arts, education and healthcare programs in Haiti.
As the Senior Vice President of Global Product, Peter Lee oversees design and merchandising for all mens, womens, and childrens apparel for Joe Fresh. In this this role, Peter leads dual teams in New York and Toronto to concept and create seasonal collections for the brand. Bringing 15 years of industry experience, Peter has held positions in both luxury and commercial brands in New York, Italy, Paris, Antwerp and Osaka, prior to joining Joe Fresh.
Robert Ott is an Associate Professor in the School of Fashion at Ryerson University and Academic and Executive Director of the Fashion Zone and The Joe Fresh Centre. He holds a master’s degree in the Management of Technology and Innovation from Ryerson University. Robert is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Leicester, School of Management investigating the resurgence of craftsmanship in contemporary fashion systems with a focus on bespoke tailoring and cordwaining. He is recognized for his extensive senior management experience with The Jones Group where he held a series of progressively responsible executive roles including directing product research and development, supporting marketing activities, developing and overseeing an international business model, and re-evaluating the strategic positioning of corporate brands in Canada.
Since 1988, Lucia has been a professor in the School of Fashion, Ryerson University, teaching a wide range of courses pertaining to apparel design, collection development and apparel production management. Design projects have included the academic ceremonial gowns required for the Ryerson University offices of Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Honourary Doctorate recipients. Research areas have included anthropometrics and sizing systems used in women’s apparel with recent research focusing on the design and development of work apparel worn by urban search and rescue dogs.
As President of Ryerson Futures, Matt manages a seed stage investment fund, an acceleration program for early stage technology companies and an innovation for hire consulting practice for corporate clients in Toronto, Canada and Mumbai, India. He also provides mentorship for 80+ companies in the Ryerson DMZ. Matt has over 17 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive working with companies in the technology and service based sectors. Matt was a founder and co-CEO of NRG Group which he ran for five years and raised over $30 million in financing. Matt has an undergraduate degree in marketing and management and an MBA from Northeastern University.
Valerie Fox cofounded the DMZ at Ryerson University which has grown to become Canada’s #1 university business incubator and #5 in the world (UBI 2014). She is now venturing out with a new company called the Pivotal Point, to help build successful incubation models with corporations, academic institutions and regions that bring communities of diverse skills together to collaborate, design and deliver impactful innovation.
The Selection Committee judges have been chosen on the basis of their knowledge and expertise in fashion, business and entrepreneurship. Together, they bring extensive experience working with Canada’s most prominent brands and institutions to The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation.
Founded by James Yurichuk and Anthony DeBartolo, Mammoth Outerwear 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. Mammoth Outerwear is 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:
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.
The Selection Committee judges have been chosen on the basis of their knowledge and expertise in fashion, business and entrepreneurship. Together, they bring extensive experience working with Canada’s most prominent brands and institutions to The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation. They will select from the full set of entries, from which the final businesses will be determined. Applicants will be evaluated on business viability and scalability, innovation, planning and brand presentation.
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