Travelling the face of the world: a start-up mentoring event in Shanghai


We recently participated in the Chinese stop-over of Startupbootcamp FashionTech FastTrack, held on October the 17th in the auspicious offices of Prada in the heart of Shanghai: an event through which the company continues – together with its partners, its global travel in the search of new, disruptive and innovative businesses set to affect the Fashion world.

With over 17 mentors from varying regions and varying skill sets, the prospects from the Asia Pac region gave their pitches to the team, looking for advice and feedback on how to improve, expand or make a dent into the selective market of Fashion and Apparel. 


The proposals came from numerous angles, as diverse in their proposals as in their specific opportunities, all very professional and all giving the mentors reason to think and consider the impact they bring. From QR Codes, CRM, Factory consolidation, blockchain, new product creation and onward, the main theme related to the impact that AI will be seen to improve the complete end-to-end processes involved in the Fashion world.


Data, humans and all that’s in between


In fact, AI in the Asia Pac region is the buzzword and it is the focus of many businesses, not only start-ups, in how this new(ish) technology will be influential in the future of all markets, not only Fashion.

AI, like Omnichannel, can have different connotations to different people. In some minds, it is set to be a revolution that will make the Sales Assistant redundant in the Store, enhancing the Customer experience without the need for human intervention. For others, it is a tool to better enable the Sales Assistant, not replace them, giving them insightful information around shopping habits and proposing products based on the multiple factors of the Customer life and lifestyle.


AI is certainly going to be an important player in the market, not only in Bricks and Mortar stores, but backwards across the whole supply chain, from helping to define new products, efficiently managing the process from design to end product, and where to distribute them to ensure better return on investment, but, and there is a but, these AI applications are dependent on the algorithms provided by humans.


Transnational global supply chain: why information is key?


So, AI is evolving and becoming more effective across multiple markets, the Fashion world needs to keep a close eye on the growth and maturity of this technology, and the opportunities it can bring to the brand to ensure continued success for years to come. The capability to collect and integrate information coming from different countries, devices and cultures into a single system that ensure the unique management of each item is crucial for global Fashion companies. This combination of solidness and freshness – traditional supply chains and AI – is also one of the key elements beneath our participation in the Startupbootcamp initiative: we aim to mix firmness and innovation into a new combination of skills and solutions that can improve the way IT companies support Fashion brands in their global expansion strategy.

Our role of mentors in this path speaks up of a company path that is rooted into the Fashion world: Dedagroup Stealth has been working for a long time with the biggest Fashion brands, in Italy and abroad. At the same time, the research for the freshness that I mentioned above has been one of the objectives of our Group’s corporate open innovation and co-creation approach: evolving our solutions, expertise and strategies is strictly connected to both the growth path of our clients and to our own growth path.

And that’s, of course, connected to our willingness to cooperate with startups too, through which Startupbootcamp is one of our main initiatives but not the only one. Through this approach Dedagroup is keen on creating an open innovation ecosystem - widespread and collaborative - which combines products, skills, methodologies and business models: we called it “Dedagroup as a Digital Hub”.


What’s next stop?


As StartupBootCamp continues its travels, more and more will be heard around the subject of AI. 

How will it change the Fashion market, we wait and see. 

In the meantime, we keep on working with the most famous international Fashion brands to ensure their supply chain – and the global information that lies within – are always updated, punctual, on time: that’s how we guarantee that our clients can deliver the right item to the right customer, everywhere in the world. 


Andrea Mené Managing Director of Dedagroup Stealth UK