Why would you join a Fashion Accelerator? by Jonathan Ward

Just as it’s critical for a nascent company to find the right early hires, it’s important to find the right early partners–and that’s what an accelerator is, a partner. Here are some things that you should look for when evaluating programs to help take your Fashion business to the next level, and the results that you can expect from participation.

The right training at the right time can unlock insights that can help you decide how to prioritize your time in the early days, when every day and every decision can make or break your business.

By going through weekly trainings and meetings with dozens of mentors throughout the program, you become a master of quickly processing information, and filtering for nuggets of wisdom that you can immediately apply to your business. The most valuable training for an early stage Fashion business should include topics like customer development, design principles, and sales.

Look for opportunities to learn from experts. Guidance can come in the form of organized sessions, or conversations with fashion contemporaries from the industry.

Programs that put too much of an emphasis on business plan development, or perfecting your long term financial plan tend to distract from the hard work you should be doing building your label and selling it!

A good program, like QUT CEA Fashion360, will provide ample opportunity to refine and practice pitching your business. By practicing your elevator pitch and your investor presentation countless times, you become a storyteller who can communicate your vision and motivate others to follow you on an uncertain yet important path.

If you’re fortunate to be accepted into the Fashion360 program, do your research, decide for yourself if it’s worth your time and money to bring the program on as a partner.

I have worked in this industry for a long time and earlier this year I chose to join Fashion360 as their Fashion ambassador. I chose QUT CEA Fashion360 as my partner as I believe they have the skills, direction, experience and knowledge to guide and support Fashion founders on their journey to a scaleable business.


Jonathan Ward, one of Australia’s most prominent designers and is recognised for his innovation, creativity and vision. Jonathan was the Executive Designer at the iconic Australian company, R.M.Williams for 15 years and is currently the creative director of a new lifestyle brand called Shleep. His fashion philosophy is simple: Dress to suit your personality, lifestyle, and occasion.

Jonathan is the Fashion360 Ambassador for 2019. To find out more about Fashion360, check out our Fashion360 page.

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