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Dream Assembly 2 is ON! Reflections on the first Dream Assembly cohort

By Bárbara Martins
Bárbara Martins
Dreamer and innovator, lives for adventure, travels and good food. An admirer of Chanel exquisite jewellery.
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Dream Assembly 2 is ON! Reflections on the first Dream Assembly cohort
Let’s start with this: the first Dream Assembly cohort was a wonderful experience for everyone and it exceeded expectations! We found high-quality technology, brilliant revolutionary people, team spirit. We’ve shared knowledge and experiences and our huge passion for fashion and technology. But most of all, we saw how Dream Assembly is in practice our way of giving back, through our open doors and our mentorship, supporting the best entrepreneurs, to build the next generation of retail technology in the fashion world!

When Dream Assembly was launched, in April 2018, our goal was very clear and contributing to the ecosystem was a fundamental driver for us. Supporting the startups who share the love for fashion with us, and that have the same entrepreneurial spirit that got us here (even a decade in) were the foundations for the first cohort.  

And now that the applications for a new one are already live, we keep the same overall objective. We want to connect with startups that are building a unique solution for the fashion and retail tech space, teams solving real problems and creating meaningful innovations that are looking for the future of the retail industry.

The first Dream Assembly program took place in Autumn 2018 and we welcomed in our office in Lisbon 11 revolutionary startups from all over the world - Porto (Portugal), London (UK), Paris (France), Vancouver (Canada), Hong Kong (China), New York (USA), Tel Aviv (Israel), Istambul (Turkey), Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Lagos (Nigeria). All of them working in different tech and fashion areas, such as blockchain, circular economy, luxury aftercare, image recognition, smart tagging, computer vision, artificial intelligence, styling and sharing economy. Nevertheless, all of them share the same goal: innovate and shape the future of commerce in the luxury fashion ecosystem. 

Our startups were based in Lisbon during the program, spent time with our teams at our Porto and London offices and joined 500 Startups’ ‘Marketing Hell Week’ in San Francisco. They also had an unforgettable day with Burberry in London, plus two well-attended Demo Days in Lisbon and London.

An intense, but also fun and exciting program where startups had access to mentorship and network of investors and the wider fashion tech community, learned about a wide range of topics, such as luxury, design, pricing, sales, e-commerce, agile, legal, marketing, communication, growth, product, and many more. There has been time for networking with experts from outside Farfetch - mentors, entrepreneurs, industry leaders - and potential world-class unforgettable experiences, plenty of team dinners, a trip to Porto Wineries and a boat trip in Lisbon, that made the program even more special.

But enough from me. Perhaps the best way to understand what Dream Assembly is all about is to hear from the startups who made up the first cohort:

"I have participated in a couple of accelerators, but this is one is one of a kind. An amazing selection of startups from all over the world and a strong team that challenged us, believed in us and gave everything to see us succeed.” (Anthony Hayot, CEO of Shopvious)

"We are a better company, team, and product from the people we spent time with at Dream Assembly. The selection of fellow startups was also something we all commented on. The personalities and absence of competition made for a wonderful family experience.” (Ryan Smith, CEO of Ftsy)

"Dream Assembly was very well thought out. The people were by far the best part of the program for me: I truly feel the feedback from mentors, senior industry experts and team accelerated our company’s progress and allowed us to shape our focus going forward” (Honey Ogundeyi, CEO of Fashpa)

"I think the openness of the Farfetch’s team (even beyond the Dream Assembly team) and the curation of companies was the best. (Vanessa Jacobs, CEO of The Restory)

Farfetch’s mentors also enjoyed engaging with such fantastic startups:

"Being part of this first program was an honour and I feel that some of the startups got more enriched by all the talks, but especially the one to one sessions with the multiple mentors and openness of the whole team in helping and sharing knowledge and experiences.” (Luís Trindade, Senior Product Owner at Farfetch)

"Being a mentor was an opportunity to meet some incredibly smart people and businesses doing some incredible work in the industry. Their thirst for knowledge and appetite for learning was a great inspiration.” (Ana Cecília Santos, Lead UX Researcher at Farfetch)

"It was good to see the hard work, commitment and passion that these startups put in to. We had a lot of different companies, with different backgrounds.” (Pedro Jorge Costa, Labs Engineer at Farfetch)

And for me, as the Communications and Community Manager of Dream Assembly, it was a pleasure to work with all these startups and incredible people. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved during the first program and the community we built together. 

Did I get your attention and are you thinking about getting involved in Dream Assembly? The applications for the second Dream Assembly program are now open! 

Our next cohort will focus on supporting for-profit businesses, aiming to grow and be commercially successful while helping make fashion a ‘force for good’. So, if you are a tech-based company that can also drive environmental and/or social improvement in fashion and retail, our next program is especially for you!

Let’s power the future of retail and technology together!
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