Real TechStars of New York City

Tech & Fashion: Really? Can’t We All Just Fucking Get Along?

TVF Post-Mortem Pic

This is a guest post from “Hurricane Melanie” Moore, co-founder of Elizabeth & Clarke, a stealth fashion/tech startup in New York. This is a post-mortem on Ms. Moore’s first startup, the high fashion deal site ToVieFor, which was part of the first TechStars class in New York.

As you all know by now, the grim reaper has paid ToVieFor a visit. Sad face. I want to talk a little about the root cause of the closure, in the hopes that others who might be starting a new business do not make the same mistake. Also, some broader industry thoughts below–as I’m sure no one wants to hear me keep yapping about my failed startup for weeks on end.

Wither ToVieFor

The reason ToVieFor failed is the same reason almost all businesses fail: we did not build something that people wanted. I know it sounds like a *facepalm* moment, but following the steps of the Lean Startup method in order to discover what people want is so easily said, but so hard to actually do. Read More

Seed Stage Slaughter

ToVieFor, Graduate of the First TechStarsNY, Started Winding Down Two Months After Demo Day

ToVieFor

New York-based ToVieFor, a members-only auction site for women’s luxury goods, has closed up shop after about a year of building the business followed by a spring at TechStars. The site is shuttered, the Twitter account is down, Tumblr is quiet, and co-founder Melanie Moore changed her LinkedIn profile to the past tense. “On the surface, we shut down because we ran out of money,” Ms. Moore said. “However, the root cause of this was a flawed business model. We were attempting to compete solely on price in a world where brands not only do not compete on price, they have essentially formed an oligopoly and set prices (vs take prices). As a result, it was incredibly difficult to convince brands to allow us to change up their pricing structure. And in retail, having those brand partnerships is critical to survival.” Read More