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Fostering Innovative Partnerships: Inside The Minds of Brands and Investors

Thursday 13 July
16:00 – 18:00
The Studio

Discover valuable insights from investment experts and top brands to guide your journey to business success.

Investment and brand partnerships are crucial for the growth of startups, but securing these opportunities can be challenging. At this unique event, Fashion District brings together angel investors, venture capitalists, and renowned brands to provide an overview of their start-up criteria, offer top tips on approaching and pitching, and engage in discussions about industry trends and future prospects. This is your chance to directly access the knowledge and expertise of investment professionals and industry leaders, empowering you to navigate the road to success for your business.


​​Keynote Presentation: “What do VCs really look for in startups?” by Sam Marchant, Investment Associate at Hambro Perks

Panel Discussion: Engage with our esteemed panellists as they discuss finding suitable angel investors, demonstrating market traction to VCs, brand partnership strategies, industry challenges, solutions, and innovations, and the importance of collaboration in future scenarios.

  • Chaired by: Emily Bullman (True.)
  • Panelists: Hannah Williamson (Edge VC), Irene Maffini (PDS Ventures + Alma Angels), Alex Shapiro (Conduit Connect), Carol Hilsum (Farfetch)

Roundtables: Join interactive roundtable discussions with fellow entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs, facilitated by panel members. Gain personalised feedback and tailored insights for your business as the speakers rotate among the tables, sharing their expertise.

Meet The Panelists

Sam Marchant, Hambro Perks
Sam Marchant, an entrepreneur-turned-investor, brings his valuable expertise to Hambro Perks, an international investment firm supported by leaders in finance and technology. With a proven track record of co-founding and scaling a successful low-sugar cereal bar brand from a university startup to a recognized challenger brand, Sam’s entrepreneurial prowess adds significant value. Having transitioned to early-stage investing at Ascension Ventures, he specialised in identifying pre-seed and seed stage investment opportunities across various sectors. At Hambro Perks, Sam’s role involves leveraging his entrepreneurial background to foster innovation and drive growth in breakthrough technology companies.

Emily Bullman, TRUE.
Emily is an investor at True, a consumer and retail focused investment and innovation firm. Emily is focused on venture investments and is passionate about backing the next generation of consumer and technology companies at the forefront of changing consumer behaviours. Emily sits on the board of a number of True’s consumer brands including Fable, Haeckels, Bedfolk, Shellworks and Fluus. Emily has spent a lot of time in the sustainable fashion space, including making investments in Reskinned and By Rotation.

Alex Shapiro, Conduit Connect
Alex Shapiro is an early-stage impact investor affiliated with Conduit Connect and the Conduit Impact Fund. With a passion for the fashion industry, Alex specialises in circular economy and waste-to-value businesses, and thrives on exploring unconventional and unique ventures in this space.

Irene Maffini, Alma Angels and PDS Ventures
Irene Maffini is an investor and startup advisor with over a decade of experience in investment and running incubators and accelerators. She has a strong focus on sustainability and has invested in 34 companies in this space. Irene’s expertise lies in mentoring and advising climatech companies, supporting them in global scaling and fundraising. Currently, she serves as an investor at PDS Ventures and an angel investor at Alma Angels, concentrating her efforts on the textile industry, circular economy, and next-generation materials.

Hannah Williamson, Edge VC
Hannah Williamson is a seasoned investor, bringing her passion for supporting creative entrepreneurs to Edge VC. With a background in the fashion industry and operational experience at ASOS, Hannah developed a keen interest in building and scaling creative businesses. At Edge VC, she plays a vital role in deal origination and execution, working closely with portfolio companies in sectors such as fashion-tech and ed-tech. Edge VC is dedicated to providing venture capital finance and a strong network of experts to drive the success of pioneering creative companies in the media, education, and entertainment sectors.

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