42

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Retail data startup, 42, launched this week with the backing of Y Combinator. The company came to life during Decoded Fashion Hackathon last year, and headed to Milan as a finalist for our Fashion Pitch competition presented by e-Pitti. 42 went on to debut at TechCrunch Disrupt last year, being then accepted at the prestigious accelerator program Y Combinator.

The company turns raw point-of-sale data into actionable insights that help businesses boost sales. The idea that ignited the company came from co-Founder Cathy Han, formerly of Procter & Gamble. As she told Techcrunch while working with larger retailers to help them better analyze data, she realized that a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses lacked a suite of online tools to leverage customer and sales data.

“One of the things we’ve been focused on is our data infrastructure – to design it to handle retailers with a growing quantity of data, and to have an API that will allow it to handle any type of query,” said Han.

Today, 42 works with its customers to configure custom reporting for their businesses, these custom reports can be automatically sent out via email to store managers in all locations on a regular basis.

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Decoded Fashion announced SWATCHit, a platform for connecting designers and artisians, as the winner of the Fashion Hackathon, taking home $10,000 and the the opportunity to have their app launched by the CFDA.

In a very close competition, SWATCHit out-pitched two other finalists—Coveted, one-click purchasing for Tumblr, and 42, in-store retail analytics tools—for the top prize.

“It’s been an incredible experience,” said SWATCHit’s Jagjeet Gill, who is currently earning her MBA at MIT.

The finalists were chosen during The Fashion Hackathon, a 24-hour event where 550 registered participants and 78 teams competed to build a technology that helps American fashion designers. It was held Feb. 2-3, at the Alley NYC.

Some of the projects were inspired by the Fashion Brief, a conversation with designer Rachel Roy, DKNY’s Aliza Licht, Rebecca Minkoff’s Uri Minkoff, Michael Kors’ Farryn Weiner, and the CFDA’s Kelly McCauley and Sideways’ Nathaniel Catanio, on what areas of the fashion industry could utilize technology to increase efficiency and drive business. Others, like Coveted, were conceived prior to the Hackathon.

“I had this idea for about a year, but never had time to work on it,” said Michael Dizon, of Coveted. “At a Hackathon, you have to do it in 24 hours.”

The finalists pitched to a panel of fashion judges including Minkoff, CFDA’s CEO Steven Kolb, Style.com’s Editor-in-Chief Dirk Standen, designer Zac Posen, and Gilt Groupe’s founder Alexis Maybank, each of which asked some tough questions to the hackathon teams before determining SWATCHit the winner.

All the finalists took home a collection of prizes from the CFDA, DKNY, GAP, Gilt Groupe, Bonobos, Macallan, Samsung, Refinery 29, and Quotidian Ventures.

Miss the pitches by our five finalists teams or just want to relive the magic? Check out the video of pitches by 42, Avant-Garde, Coveted, Fashion Dashboard, and SWATCHit!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz1nJDfhKOQ&feature=youtu.be

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On Feb. 2-3, Decoded Fashion held the world’s first Fashion Hackathon, a 24-hour event where 550 registered participants and 78 teams competed to build a technology that helps American fashion designers.

About 300 developers, designers and entrepreneurs—40 percent women—worked on a variety of projects, from B2B software for production and merchandising to analytics for social media and e-commerce. Many projects were inspired by the Fashion Brief, a conversation with designer Rachel Roy, DKNY’s Aliza Licht, Rebecca Minkoff’s Uri Minkoff, Michael Kors’ Farryn Weiner, and the CFDA’s Kelly McCauley and Sideways’ Nathaniel Catanio, on what areas of the fashion industry could utilize technology to increase efficiency and drive business.

Five finalist teams were chosen to compete for the top prize—$10,000 and the chance to have its app launched by the CFDA. They will pitch live on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week during the Decoded Fashion Forum, to a panel of fashion judges including the CFDA’s Steven Kolb, Style.com’s Dirk Standen, Zac Posen, Rebecca Minkoff’s Uri Minkoff, and Gilt Groupe’s Susan Lyne.

Finalists:
42 personalizes the brick-and-mortar experience by using the best intelligence of online commerce. Founders: Cathy Han, Sarah Hum, Lucas Lemanowicz, Nicolas Porter

Avant-Garde remakes targeting marketing by matching customers with products by visually analyzing products and social media streams to understand exactly what customers want right now. Founders: Vladimir Dedov, Ajay Mantha, Carrie Mantha

Coveted is a 1-click platform for brands to sell their products through shareable tumblr images. Founders: Ian Culley, Michael Dizon, Jason Fertel

Fashion Dashboard optimizes commerce through competitive social media and merchandising analysis. Founder: Stephan Alber

SWATCHit is a peer-to-peer platform connecting global designers with emerging market artisans and overseas producers. Founders: Ramzi Abdoch, Jagjeet Gill, Jackson Lin, Henrika Makilya, Paul Yun