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Topshop Wants Affordable Wearable Tech for the Masses

Topshop is calling on entrepreneurs and start-ups in wearable technology from around the world to take part in what it’s calling “the pitch of a lifetime.”

The fashion retailer has teamed up with L Marks, a London-based corporate innovation specialist and early stage investor, to create a boot camp-type program called Top Pitch.

The challenge: to present a product that’s stylish, functional and in-demand with the Topshop customer, at an accessible price point.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to participate in four one-week development stints, taking place June 13-July 8, during which they’ll receive intensive coaching through keynote presentations, workshops and talks on how to bring their product to market. They will also benefit from the guidance of a group of expert mentors such as Rachel Arthur, an award-winning business journalist specializing in fashion and technology, Topshop fashion director Maddy Evans, and Bethany Koby, CEO and co-founder of Technology Will Save Us.

At the end of the program, teams will have the chance to pitch their product to Sir Philip Green, Topshop boss and chairman of Arcadia Group.

“The merge of style and function has yet to have been seen in a true consumer-ready sense and our aim is to discover new-to-market, highly desirable product at accessible prices for our fashion-savvy customer,” Sheena Sauvaire, Topshop’s global marketing and communications director, said in a statement.

It’s worth noting that Top Pitch will not provide funding for the participating teams, nor will it take any equity from them, but there will be a chance to explore further investment throughout the program.

Applications are now open and will close on May 22.