The classes, which were 100% in Spanish, were held in the ideally located Brickell campus of Babson College, one of the world’s leading academics in entrepreneurship.
17 participants from 6 countries (United States, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Spain) squeezed in the hours for two weeks to develop their business plan, prepare a pitch for investors, buyers and editors, create their sales strategy, and marketing and social media plans. They learned how to work with the press, how to organize a trunk show, work with influencers and everything that goes into the development and production of a fashion collection.
The academic faculty was made up of a varied group of professors, executives and professionals from the different fields of the fashion industry. For example, Leonor Silva, director of international relations at ISEM, was in charge of opening the first day and teaching the lessons on product development, sales plan and distribution channels. Kelly Talamas, former Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director of Vogue Mexico and Latin America, explained the importance of a brand’s DNA and taught students how to communicate it.
In further contact with the press and media, the students engaged in an interesting conversation with José Forteza, senior editor of Condé Nast Latin America (Latin American Vogue), and had a lesson by influencer Pam Arias, who explained what the relationship between influencers and brands is like, what type of contracts they use, how to measure the terms and measure return on investment (ROI), etc.
The bootcamp also included some workshops and practical exercises. One of them was carried out by Gustavo Trindade, director of the Babson Campus in Miami. Divided into groups, the students had to first do a puzzle and then create a story about “water” with various materials provided. “As you have experienced, being an entrepreneur is more like creating a story, because it’s not about setting up something that you already know the outcome of, but about creating and marketing the product at the same time which is more like creating a story”, he stated.
Marta Lastra, Chief Operating Officer at Altuzarra, explained all about the production cycle, costing, and how to negotiate prices with the factories. Financial issues were also addressed in the classes of José Antonio de Cote and Mónica Vázquez, General Manager of Abanca USA, who gave a session on how to present a business plan to a financial institution. In addition, Nacho Gallardo, professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Navarra and a mentor to startups, explained how to develop and write a professional business plan.
Finally, the branding and marketing subjects were taught by Esther Uhalte, Vice President of Global Consumer Marketing at Estée Lauder, and Pedro Mir, ISEM professor and mentor, with whom the students developed their marketing plan and strategy.
The “Fashion Entrepreneurship 101” program also includes one-to-one mentoring sessions to help students think about how to apply what they learned in class to their brands: Coco Jewel, Delosantos, Mozzafiato, For Shoore, Lorenza Bas, Textiles Montserrat , Soluaconcept, Frame Factory, Fosh, Mira, Owfit, Lune Salée, Mane Chadwick, Isla María, and some independent professionals all benefited from these mentoring sessions.
The program ended with a contest sponsored by Abanca USA. In this Final Pitch, each participant presented their 3 minute pitch focused for investors. The jury was made up of Mónica Vázquez, Kelly Talamas, Nacho Gallardo, Leonor Silva and Clarissa Padula, from the investment group Stelac Advisory Services. The winner was the Peruvian entrepreneur Victor Montalvo, from the Delosantos brand, who was awarded an iPad by Mónica Vázquez of Abanca.