Attention Tech Entrepreneurs!

by Benjamin Wörner - 28 Oct 2015

Update: Due to the extremely positive feedback we received during SLUSH, we want to give more teams the chance to apply for the Zalando Tech Residency Program and are extending the application deadline to Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 at noon CET. All teams who have already applied will hear from us soon.

Zalando’s story begins in 2008 with two guys shipping shoes out of their student apartment. Co-founders Robert Gentz and David Schneider wanted to improve people's online shopping experiences by providing a greater assortment of products, plus convenient cost-free delivery and returns. Since then we’ve become Europe’s largest online fashion platform — offering services in brand solutions, smart logistics, performance marketing, wholesale pricing, and many other areas of ecommerce. Our success story includes all the mistakes, pivots, surprises and risks that many startups face. Now, we want to share our learnings and insights by offering the next generation of tech startups in the fashion and lifestyle space a three-month residency at our new Helsinki Tech Hub.

We opened our Helsinki office this August as our second Tech Hub outside of Germany. Following the opening of our Fashion Insights Centre in Dublin, we announced that our Helsinki team would focus on developing new apps and mobile products. Helsinki is also home to a vibrant and active startup community that has truly impressed us, and was a major factor in our decision.

Through this new program, our Helsinki team will host startup teams for three months — offering expertise, guidance and resources to help participants build their businesses. Applicants should be founders of startups that help connect people to fashion in some way. Helsinki Site Lead Tuomas Kytömaa — a Silicon Valley veteran whose background includes tech and entrepreneurship — will serve as primary mentor for our program participants.
Interested in participating? Here are the minimum qualifications:

  • You’re a team of 2-5 founding members with an innovative business idea and an already existing prototype/beta (ideally with first traction)
  • Your product solves a problem related to some area of e-commerce: eg. customer insights, smart logistics, adtech, product and brand discovery, fashion-related content
  • You’re already based in Helsinki, or willing to relocate for the duration of the program

At the beginning of the three-month program we’ll jointly define what is needed to fully develop your product, develop a go-to-market strategy, and reach a critical mass of users.

Program benefits include:

  • Three-month program beginning in Q1 2016.
  • Completely equipped workplace for up to five team members
  • Full access to our facilities and amenities: meeting rooms, chill-out areas, free drinks and snacks
  • Regular mentoring session with our Head Coach Tuomas
  • Access and coaching sessions with Zalando experts from all areas of our business
  • No strings attached, all this is 100% free for startups

If you're ready for the challenge, you can use this form to apply. If we like your idea, we’ll schedule a video interview so we can get to know each other. Any questions? Reach out to startups@zalando.fi.

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