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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
OIE Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Pratt Institute


Brooklyn, NY

Project Name

Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator: Fashion Technology Program



Award Amount


While fashion is a major economic driver in New York City, local apparel manufacturing has been in decline for 20 years. As the city struggles to reinvigorate this vital manufacturing base, a key new sector — technology-embedded fashion — is emerging. This includes wearable technology and technological advances in materials, manufacturing, and connectivity. These new developments are redefining the fashion industries and propelling innovation in both the function and purpose of what people wear.

The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA), an initiative of Pratt Institute, helps high potential fashion and design entrepreneurs grow viable businesses that respect the environment and society through its Venture Fellow program. The BF+DA also has a 21st-century manufacturing, research and development facility, which provides fashion industry professionals with access to micro-run production, emerging technologies, digital manufacturing, and sustainable strategies consulting services.

The BF+DA will use EDA funding to expand the manufacturing capacity of its advanced production lab to serve the NYC design community and develop its new Fashion Tech Program (FTP). The FTP will give fashion technologists critical support to advance their innovations and a place to create next-gen materials and processes. A Mastermind Knowledge Network will be built through the BF+DA’s regional partners to mentor proof-of-concept development for eight FTP Research Fellows over the next three years, and create a pipeline to the existing Venture Fellow program for commercialization. The FTP will focus on attracting and supporting underrepresented populations in technology innovation, particularly women.