Announcing: NYFT Lab Demo Day 2014

Our eight Lab Companies are making final preparations to showcase their cutting-edge fashion technology solutions at the 2014 NYFTL Demo Day on July 24th in New York at the Hearst Corporation.

Clothes Horse, Nineteenth Amendment, Perch Interactive, StyleSage, Stylinity, Stylit, Suddenlee, and Trendalytics Selected for Inaugural New York Program for Fashion Technology


Innovative big data, digital fit, interactive display, and omnichannel technologies are among the products what will be pitched on July 24th at the invite-only inaugural New York Fashion Tech Lab Demo Day that takes places at Hearst Tower in New York City. A joint program created by venture catalyst Springboard Enterprises and the Partnership Fund for NYC, the Lab provides a platform for the selected companies to interact with nine of the world’s leading fashion and retail companies – our Founding Members – allowing them unprecedented access to high ranking executives and pillars of the fashion community.  

The Founding Members supporting the Lab include: Alex and Ani, ANN INC., The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., J.Crew, Kate Spade and Company, Li & Fung / Global Brands Group, LVMH / Marc Jacobs, Macy’s, and Ralph Lauren Corporation. The Lab was also supported by AlleyNYC, which provided work and meeting space for the Lab companies throughout the 12 weeks of the program, and Hearst Corporation, which is hosting this year’s Demo Day.

In preparation for the upcoming Demo Day, here is a little taste of each of the Lab Companies: 

  • Clothes Horse helps shoppers get the right size and fit when shopping online by telling shoppers on retailer websites what size will fit them, using data about their body and closet and predictive algorithms. Customers include Anthropologie, Bluefly, Steven Alan, Nicole Miller, GANT and Todd Snyder.
  • Nineteenth Amendment is a marketplace for fashion designers to showcase and sell their design through an interactive, crowdsourcing model. For designers, Nineteenth Amendment solves the chicken-or-egg problem with its marketplace and helps brands with marketing and operations by providing US manufacturing and fulfillment as a service along with consumer sales analytics to make smarter business decisions.
  • Perch Interactive is introducing a series of interactive in-store digital displays where the product is the interface. PERCH is a robust turnkey system consisting of the PERCH Interactive Display Hardware, the PERCH Core Software and the PERCH Cloud. These three technologies work together to provide a dynamic, interactive media platform for product display with built-in shopper analytics.
  • StyleSage is a strategic analytics web platform that helps fashion retailers and brands with critical in-and-next season decisions in local and global markets. The beta platform, often hailed as “the Bloomberg for fashion”, analyzes over 1000 retailers, 23,000 brands, and 31M products across 17 countries and deconstructs their pricing, assortment, and promotions strategies as well as trending styles.
  • Stylinity makes selfies shoppable. With 68% of millennials asking social networks for purchase input, Stylinity expands e-commerce reach into those interactions. With Stylinity, every selfie shared carries a click-to-buy feature. Powered by its patented social commerce platform and mobile app, seamlessly integrating with your e-commerce platform and leading social sites, Stylinity allows you to see not only who is sharing, but the results of that sharing – engagement and revenue increases per user.
  • Stylit helps users decide what to buy. Its patented styling platform unites machine-learning with the artistry of real stylists. Users receive contextual head-to-toe recommendations tailored to their tastes and needs. By reading shoppers’ digital body language and purchase behavior, Stylit is fueling the future of fashion search and predictive styling. Its B2C online solution is the sandbox for fine-tuning its technology for brands and retailers. The next step is to white label the solution for brands and retailers for a more personalized, smarter shopping experience.
  • Suddenlee is a membership program that provides affordable next-day delivery from specialty stores and fashion brands. Our shopping logistics technology enables efficient merchandise procurement, processing and shipping for next day delivery on a regional basis. As a result, consumers are able to receive the products they want, from the brands they love, when they want them. Retailers are able to increase sales and customer satisfaction by offering an expedited service level at a cost that is comparable to standard fulfillment and shipping.
  • Trendalytics is a visual analytics platform that measures how merchandise trends resonate with consumers. The company surfaces relevant signals for the fashion industry by identifying and synthesizing product attributes (e.g., maxi dresses, combat boots) across social chatter, search behavior and shared images to reveal actionable insights on product assortments, regional demand and seasonality.


For more information about NYFT Lab, check for new updates on and follow @nyftlab on Twitter.


Get to Know the Lab Companies: Q&A with PERCH’s CEO and Founder, Jared Schiffman

Q: How did the idea for your business come about? 

A: PERCH is a spin-off of a company called Potion that was founded in 2005 by me and Phillip Tiongson, a good friend from the MIT Media Lab. One of Potion's project was for an interactive bar at Adour, an Alain Ducasse restaurant at the St Regis hotel in New York. While Potion had created many interactive surfaces before, this was the first one where objects (plates, glasses, etc) were placed on the interactive surface. This started me thinking about the relationship between physical objects and digital surfaces. Soon after, I realized that the killer app for this technology would be retail. And that's how it all began.

Q: What were the key turning points Perch's offerings since you started?

A: We launched PERCH at Liz Bacelar's Decoded conference at Lincoln Center in May 2012. This was after several months of internal development. At Decoded, we were showing our perfume demo and were lucky enough to meet someone from Kiehls who just happened to be launching a new fragrance line. Within six weeks, we had a PERCH display up and running at the Kiehls location in the meatpacking district. This was the very first PERCH in store.

Soon after the Kiehl's launch, we were selected as one of 11 rising fashion tech startups by the Bloomberg-sponsored Project Pop-Up. The competition was hosted at Rachel Shectman's amazing store STORY. We have worked with Rachel many times over the past two years and she has introduced to almost every major retailer that we've worked with. Without Rachel's help, PERCH wouldn't be where it is now.

The most recent turning point for PERCH was the launch of our year long collaboration with kate spade new york in April. For this dream project, we have the CMO of kate spade Mary Beech to thank. She truly understands the potential of PERCH as a storytelling device and was instrumental in getting PERCH into their stores.

Suffice is to say, the success of PERCH is strongly tied to individuals outside the company who have believed in what we're doing and have used their positions to help us get to the next level.


Q: How do you find people to bring to your team that truly care about what you are building the way you do?

A: I teach at NYU's ITP program. ITP is a master's program which focuses on the intersection of media and technology. Almost every PERCH employee is an ITP graduate. I find the best students and I ask them to join the cause.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

A: When I was very young, I wanted to be an inventor. Sadly, no one has that title these days. But that's what I am at heart. I love having new ideas, turning them from concept into reality and sharing them with the world. Of course, having an idea is the easy part. Making it work is challenging. And, sharing it with the world is difficult. What I have come to learn is that great products become great when they are refined by practice and real world usage. When a customer gives you feedback, that is part of the invention process too.


Q: Why do you think it has been so hard to build a bridge between technology and useful design?

A: I have a philosophy about this: humans are circles and technology is square. Technology exists at right angles. Humans don't. Therefore, in order to make technology work for people, you have to know how to shape it. You shape it in the same way a chair maker makes a seat out of wood. You have to know your tools inside and out and know what the medium is capable of doing. This is true for technology as well. Only once you gain fluency can you shape technology to be right for humans.

Get to Know the Lab Companies: Q&A with Stylinity's CEO and Founder, Tadd Spering

Q: How did the idea for your business come about? 

A: I've always been fascinated by how people use technology while they make decisions. When my wife, Ivy, started sending me selfies when she was trying on clothes, I realized there had to be a better way. The pictures were blurry, she was standing at awkward angles to get a picture in a mirror, and I couldn't tell exactly what she was trying on. Stylinity is all about solving those problems and making that process better, easier, and more fun.

Q: How do you see the future of Stylinity? Are the possibilities endless or will you maintain a more narrow focus?

A: For now we're really, really focused, but long-term the possibilities are endless. The data we gather when people share lets us make recommendations about size and style, lets people track products, and opens up all kinds of possibilities. Eventually this will expand into home goods and any product where style is an important component of the decision making process. Properly tagged, high quality, user generated content enables all of that, and that's what we help people create.

Q: How do you see the future of retail in 10 years?

A: I think we'll have fewer stores, but they'll be much better. Everything will be genuinely omnichannel, and user generated content and sharing will mostly replace traditional marketing. Influencers - the tastemakers and people whose sharing leads to retail sales, will be rewarded for doing so, and instead of a small number of supermodels, being a style influencer will become a lucrative career.

Q: Can you tell us one entrepreneur & one non-business person who influenced you and what inspired you about them? 

A: I'm most inspired by Elon Musk, and from what I've read of him his mind works much like mine. He built Tesla without an automotive background and made the best car in the world, and he's doing similar things with SpaceX. As someone without much fashion/retail background, that inspires me to disrupt and improve another industry. On the non-business side, I'm influenced by Teddy Roosevelt. At the Battle of San Juan, he implored his troops to, "Follow me!" and led the charge himself. That inspires me as a leader to lead by example and to ask of others only what I'd ask of myself.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

A: I love actually bringing something to life. There are lots of great ideas out there, but turning an idea into a product, and a product into a business, is an enormous challenge. It's incredibly satisfying in a way that a "job" never really could be.

Q: Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path you are on today? 

A: I did. I'm an avid skier, and when I was 20, I was extreme skiing on the Horstman Glacier. I had an accident and ended up falling off a pretty serious cliff, but I lived and was lucky enough not to be seriously injured. I probably should have died that day and that evening I kept thinking about how easily that could have been my last day on Earth. I realized I only have so much time to do what I want with my life and that window of opportunity can slam shut in an instant. I decided then to pursue my goals and dreams with intensity, and to not let fear lead me down a safe but less fulfilling path, because from that moment on I've been living on borrowed time.

Q: Your favorite article of clothing or fashion trend?

A: My favorite article of clothing is my Diesel Larkee jeans. They're incredibly versatile, and I can wear them with anything from a t-shirt through a jacket and tie, plus they're really comfortable.

Q: What did you want to become when you were little? 

A: The first time I heard the word "entrepreneur", I knew that's what I wanted to be.