We have a highly ambitious goal (but which DREAM doesn’t?). It is not just about creating networks or matchmaking between fashion designers, it is rather bringing FRESH AIR and finance into the fashion industry or creative industries scene in the region, and also changing midsets, and also policy of at least three states (cos Sweden and Finland seem to be quite advanced in terms of fashion industry progress), shifting the understanding of the creative industries from that „poor weird stuff” to flourishing economy.
Our next step now before the 5-day Warsaw Balticlab May 1-5 is to hold a designer workshop-interview in Riga as well as in Vilnius, visit Login the IT-event in Vilnius and meet the fabulous Mike, our mentor, all during April 10-13. Mike is the head of Startup Wise Guys. & an ex-IBMer with a passion for bright ideas and business model innovation, previously worked in M&A, managing large transformation programs and innovation projects. He is also the strategic advisor and lead coach at the Tehnopol Startup Incubator and mentor at different startup networks in Europe.
The workshop with fashion designers in Riga includes 5 local Latvian designers (BlankBlank, Indra Salsevica, Agnese Narnicka, Artis Stamguts), the purpose is to get more insight to their everyday challenges and needs, to frame the main problems/areas that needs development. This frame can then be used in Frön’s internal workshop where we try to conceptualize the findings and to find out what is special in our concept compared to existing ones.
Thanks to Veera Pakala our FI/SV team member, we also have exclusive access to „Bridging the Equity and Entrepreneurial Gaps in the Finnish Fashion Industry. A Comparative Case Study of the Swedish, Danish & Finnish Fashion Ecosystems”, a master´s thesis of Noora Salonoja from May 2013, and now, while snowboarding here in Sweden, I spend my apres-ski thinking of the notion of “glam investing”, business angels and reputational spill-over. Inter alia her thesis also says, „Currently, Moderådet (the Swe fashion council) does not have any official collaboration with business angel networks.
However, the numerous inquiries from designers and small brands have made them recognize the need for such collaborations and networks, and they are currently taking initiatives to set up new forms of cooperation. One of the current initiatives is the establishment of “Föreningens för Svensk mode”, an association under Moderådet. The association is run by designers and focuses on relevant projects regarding production, administration and financing, which also includes establishing better networks with business angels. (Representative of Moderådet, interview 10.1.2013)”.
So, a lot to think about and get inspired from. Luckily, Balticlab provides generous multi-level support for this and I work in a great team of five, all young international sharp professionals. Ideaalne.