Mentoring Programme: Call for Projects

What is the DeFINE mentoring programme?

An eight month bespoke mentoring support programme to help your business develop innovative Fashion-Tech ideas into a reality.

There will be two rounds of eight-month mentoring programmes over 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. We will support a total of 25 businesses over the two programmes; 12 businesses in the first round and 13 businesses in the second round. Businesses that are successful can only take part in one round to give other businesses a chance to be mentored. However, if you have applied and did not get in the first round, we encourage you to try again in the second round.

By the end of the mentoring programme, your business should have developed a prototype or proof of concept of a new product, process or route to market.

The first programme will run from September 2019 – May 2020.

What will I get from the mentoring programme?

We will provide you with a bespoke programme of mentoring support relevant to your specific needs. Over 8 months, you will receive:

  • 24 hours of support from your lead supervisor
  • 40 hours of technical mentoring
  • 8 hours of business management support
  • 8 hours of investment readiness support
  • Access to physical spaces such as labs, equipment and tools
  • Unlimited supply of online resources & access to DeFINE Network

What are the benefits to my business?

Working with internationally renowned experts to help guide you through the innovation process.

Access to European networks to develop your ideas and business.

Final outcome of a prototype or proof of concept product, process or route to market.

Am I eligible to take part?

You must meet the following criteria to be considered for the mentoring programme:

  • A registered business – start-up, micro enterprise or SME (Small-Medium Enterprise).
  • Working in fashion or technology.
  • Have an innovative idea incorporating fashion and technology that you want to develop for one of the following:
    • Product or service
    • Process
    • Route to market/business model
  • Can demonstrate that you have two members of staff who will be engaged in the project delivery.
  • Able to certify that you have ownership or right to use any intellectual property involved.
  • Based in a COSME participating country – EU 28 + Montenegro, Turkey, FYROM, Albania, Serbia, Moldavia, Armenia, Iceland.

Please note: you can submit an expression of interest and/or apply for the Bespoke Mentoring programme if you are not a registered business, but if you are selected onto the programme, you must be a registered business before you can receive any support.

We will request proof of registration validated by local/national authorities.

Application Process

7 May, 2019 – 15 August, 2019 

We have launched the call for Expression of Interest. If you’re interested in applying for the mentoring programme, this is an opportunity to get in touch with us to share your idea. If it is an eligible project, we will help to refine it and get you ready to submit a full application.

> Link to Complete the Expression of Interest.

16 June – 15 August, 2019

Call for applications has been extended and will now be open. Watch the Mentoring Programme Webinar with more details to help you apply for the eight-month bespoke programme.

18 September, 2019

We will announce the successful projects that will be supported by the mentoring programme.

If you miss the first round, there will be a second call launched in January 2020.

Apply for the Bootcamp

Apply to attend London Bootcamp on the 5 – 6 June or Berlin Bootcamp on the 24 – 25 June to develop your innovative idea. We’ll have experts on hand delivering workshops, talks and one-to one sessions with inspiration, insight and guidance on how to apply for the mentoring programme.

Please note, it is not a requirement of the mentoring programme to have taken part in a Bootcamp. Bootcamp attendance is by application process.

How will projects be selected?

Our DeFINE Advisory Board Members will be our selection panel. They will review all the applications, and select the successful projects against the following criteria:

  • Originality and degree of innovation
  • Strategic and market relevance and added value for involved business
  • Strategic relevance and added value for the EU fashion industry competitiveness
  • Viability of the business and investment readiness.

If you have any questions about the application process please contact the DeFINE team at


After I’ve submitted my expression of interest, how long will it be before someone gets back in touch to discuss my idea?

One of the DeFINE team will get back to you within two weeks to discuss your idea.

Can I apply for the programme if I am based outside of Europe?

You must have your business registered in a COSME participating country to be eligible to take part – EU 28 + Montenegro, Turkey, FYROM, Albania, Serbia, Moldavia, Armenia, Iceland.

If you are not based in one of these countries, you can still register on the DeFINE website and be included in our directory, access our resources and come along to our networking events.