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The Future of Fashion and Retail, London, 23rd January

21 Jan 2020
In January, Dream Assembly, London & Partners and FashHack hosted an event, in London, with leaders at the forefront of the disruptive fashion tech revolution. The presenters and a panel addressed a range of hot subjects relevant for early stage fashion & retail tech founders, from growth to investment.


Carol Hilsum, Farfetch

Carol is the Director of Innovation at Farfetch. Her role includes managing Dream Assembly - a Fashion and Retail tech accelerator for high potential startups, managing strategic future innovation partnerships and creating internal innovation incubator programs. Previous to her time at Farfetch, Carol has spent many years in the fashion industry in senior roles building products and running growth strategies for companies like NET-A-PORTER and Topshop. She also works with fashion startups, such as The Modist, as a consultant and mentor.

David Grunwald, Farfetch

David is Farfetch's VP of Innovation, where he leads open innovation and engagement with startups. David has 18 years of experience in technology, and before joining Farfetch in 2018 spent 8 years at Google in various partnership and business development roles. Before Google he founded three companies, including an e-Commerce startup, and also consulted to leading international media and technology corporations on product and digital strategy.

Frederic Court, Felix Capital

Frederic is the Founder and Managing Partner of Felix Capital. He has worked in the technology industry for the past 20 years, prior to Felix as General Partner with Advent Ventures in London, and previously as an entrepreneur. At Felix, Frederic works closely with Farfetch, goop, The Business of Fashion, La Ruche Qui Dit Oui, Yoobic, Frichti and Mirakl. He led the investment in Olapic (sold to Monotype in 2016). While at Advent, Frederic led investments in Farfetch, Zong (sold to eBay), Vitrue (Oracle), Dailymotion (Orange), Qype (Yelp), Fizzback (Nice Systems) and Ubiquisys (Cisco). In parallel, he has been an active angel, mainly in digital lifestyle start-ups. Frederic was named "Investor of the Year" in Europe by his peers at the 2012 Investor All Stars event. He was on the Midas List Europe 2017.

Hasna Kourda, Save Your Wardrobe

Hasna is the CEO and co-founder of Save Your Wardrobe, a digital wardrobe platform that offers users personalised recommendations and connects them with third party service providers. Save Your Wardrobe is working towards the goal of extending the lifecycle of fashion products. The virtual wardrobe recommendations are based on the user’s lifestyle, calendar, weather and post-purchase data. Furthermore, the platform offers a curated eco-system of services (repairs, alteration, donations, selling, etc).

Hasna has a background in Economics and Corporate Strategy with a focus on 'How to Optimise Finite Resources when creating Wealth’.

Helen Lax, Director, Fashion District

Helen is the Director at the Fashion District which launched in 2018 backed by the Mayor of London, London College of Fashion, UAL and the British Fashion Council. The Fashion District collaborates with fashion, technology, business and education to grow the fashion industry and create a global hub for fashion tech. Working with private and public sector partners she provides access to innovation networks, workspace, business support, investment and skills programmes. In 2019 Helen launched 'Retail Futures', a Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize, for SMEs with tech solutions for retail issues. Helen has worked in the arts and creative industries as a Regional Director at Arts Council of England, a Director at Dance East and has led community initiatives with local authorities to assist public sector transformation.

Louise Conolly-Smith, London & Partners

Louise Conolly-Smith is Head of Creative at London & Partners. Last year she spent six months at Here East, the innovation campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, helping build out the existing video games and esports cluster there. Previous to her current role, she worked with rapidly scaling North American technology companies based in London. She has worked at the Design Council delivering a national business support programme and at Business Link as a coach and mentor to high growth companies.

Marina Atarova, FashHack

Marina is an entrepreneur and mentor with over 7 Years of experience working with early stage tech startups and investors. As a partner in several projects, Marina has been involved in running marketing campaigns, events, workshops and hackathons and created a network of tech investors, looking to back up early stage tech superstars. Marina also has the #Fashhack tech community for fashion and retail brands, startups and investors looking to disrupt Fashion Industry. Marina also currently works for Dream Assembly, the Fashion Tech Accelerator, powered by Farfetch.

Sandra Steving, Founders Intelligence

Sandra Steving Villegas is Head of Innovation at Founders Intelligence, the specialist growth strategy consultancy at Founders Forum, the world’s leading network of technology entrepreneurs and investors. There she advises global corporate clients across luxury, consumer goods, retail, finance, energy and media on growth strategy, digital transformation, venture incubation and start-up investment/partnerships. Clients have included American Express, Lloyds, Puig, Citi, GE, Marriott International and Unilever.

Sandra has a multidisciplinary background spanning strategy, ventures, innovation, design. She was previously a Director at NY based innovation consultancy Fahrenheit 212, where she led international projects and eventually launched and scaled its London office. She has an MBA from Oxford’s Said Business School, and began her career as an architect.



FashHack is a dynamic community of entrepreneurs, innovators, retail strategy experts, technologists, investors and brands with a mission to supercharge & accelerate the fashion & retail tech sector. We bring together fashion tech thought leaders & world leading brands to create a future vision for fashion and retail. We have run over 200 workshops and events across Europe and worked with some of the top players to engage their brands with fashion and retail tech community.

Founders Intelligence

Founders Intelligence is an entrepreneur-powered strategy consultancy. Born out of the Founders Forum Group, a global network of leading tech entrepreneurs, investors CEOs and changemakers, we create growth strategies for global companies and establish the capabilities needed to deliver against them. Clients include L’Oreal, Lazard, Unilever, Lloyds Bank, Puig, Sky and Shell.

London & Partners

London & Partners is the Mayor of London’s official promotional and economic development agency. London & Partners’ Business Growth Programme offers a wide range of support free of charge worth up to £5,000 including workshops & roundtables around five key barriers to growth, tailored advice from industry leading mentors, introductions to a range of partners as well as opportunities to grow your business network.--
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