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Zalando launches Tech Startup Residency Program in Helsinki

Zalando Tech searches for Helsinki-based startups who want to create success stories in fashion and eCommerce.

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Helsinki hub is Zalando’s second international tech hub – and the company is actively taking part in the local tech community i.e. as a host of numerous meetups. Photo: Zalando

Zalando has already established deep roots in the Helsinki startup scene after opening its second international tech office in August this year. Now the company wants start cooperating with local startups in order to jointly create further success stories in fashion and lifestyle eCommerce.

“Finland is famous for it’s thriving startup scene – this is the place where Linux and Angry Birds were born. Based on the strong local track record, we are excited to see what kind of fascinating products Finnish startups will develop during the Residency with us. The best way to boost innovative ideas is to give startups the tools enabling them to build something new and exciting. This is one of our long term goals for the program,” says Tuomas Kytömaa, Site Lead of the Zalando Tech Hub in Helsinki.

In the company’s Tech Startup Residency Program, they’re looking to partner with Helsinki-based startups in a pre-seed phase. The prerequisite is to have a great idea that connects people with fashion and a dedicated team of maximum 5 members (at least 50% technologists in the team). The startups are also expected to have at least a first prototype of their product before applying to the program.

Get To The Next Level With Zalando

The application period for the Tech Startup Residency Program starts on October 26th and closes on November 15th.

The three month program will be launched during the first quarter of 2016, and in the first batch of candidates, up to two startups will be selected to start working at Zalando’s office in Helsinki.

Zalando started out in 2008 as a small startup in Berlin, offering Flip Flops online. Today, the company constitutes Europe’s leading online fashion platform. The team wants to share experiences with young entrepreneurs and offer the next generation of digital companies the opportunity to accelerate their business and extend their capabilities by sharing know-how and resources.

“We’ll provide the startups with a top-notch workplace alongside our tech and business expertise, and we want to connect them with people relevant for their business. The teams will have a dedicated mentor with a technical and entrepreneurial background, coaching sessions and access to Zalando experts through our in-house Tech Academy, Hackweek and office events,” says Kytömaa and emphasizes that the partnerships can be extended if the cooperation is mutually beneficial.

The main focus of the program is to help the startups to bring their product to the next level, grow their customer base and refine their business model.

“This will be a tremendous opportunity for startups to get help in overcoming the first hurdles on their business path. However, it is perhaps even more exciting for Zalando to dive into one of the most vibrant startup ecosystems in Europe by opening our doors for startups who share our passion for connecting people and fashion,” says Kytömaa.

Startups interested in the program can apply online through this form. Zalando team members will also be attending Slush on November 11th–12th at Messukeskus, to meet startups and candidates looking to apply to the program.

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