Tradedoubler’s innovative business incubator project has proved such a big hit, that the company plans on rolling it out across its European offices.
The affiliate marketing network created the London-based project, ‘The Zoo Project’, which is targeted at entrepreneurial performance marketing start-ups, back in 2011.
The aim of the scheme, which provides mentors and office space to winners, is to help creative new performance marketing businesses establish themselves in the industry.
After proving themselves worthy of a rent free spot at the company’s Victoria headquarters, and after gaining approval from a panel of judges, aka ‘dragons’, budding winners of The Zoo Project receive mentorship and guidance from Tradedoubler gurus, to help their fledgling companies develop.
Costly, but Worth it
Despite the project costing the Swedish-founded business more than £1 million in business resources, gatekeeper of The Zoo Project, Tradedoubler’s chief executive officer Rob Wilson, revealed to A4u that the company is now looking at where else they can roll it out.
“France and Sweden will probably be the next two - we are going to make this happen,” Wilson said.
As the scheme has got off to such a roaring start, and is continuing to produce successful start-ups, such as fashion forward boutique, StyleNest, Wilson said it’s a natural step to utilise the idea in other markets.
Wilson first hopes to launch The Zoo Project in France later this year, and then in Tradedoubler’s homeland Sweden - but this may now be in 2014 due to an office move at the end of the year.
Current Zoo Success
One of last year’s winners of The Zoo Project incubator scheme was members’ only luxury e-tailer LUX FIX.
At Tradedoubler’s invite-only Fashion Connect event yesterday, which explored digital marketing trends within the online fashion industry, LUX FIX co founders Rebecca Glasnapp and Alice Hastings, beamed about the company’s success so far.
Since being taken under Tradedoubler’s wing, LUX FIX has seen a 500% increase in monthly revenues, a boost in international sales and has more than 10,000 Facebook likes.
The ‘bespoke’ site features pop up flash deals of new collections from carefully selected designers.
When questioned on the subject of international markets and broadening their scope, the LUX FIX duo said they have been approached by non-British designers about featuring more international apparel and this is a route they would go down.
They have also just secured a partnership with well-known UK fashion designer, Matthew Williamson, and are open to featuring non apparel luxury items in the future.
The third round deadline for this year’s Zoo Project is March 31 2013 and UK-based entrepreneurs can apply at www.thezooproject.co.uk. Follow @zoo_td on Twitter or like The Zoo Project on Facebook for more details.