We choose one Virgin StartUp company to be featured on Virginstartup.org each week. We ask our startups of the week to deliver the ultimate elevator pitch. What would they say if they had one minute in a lift with Sir Richard Branson? This week, Luca Parmeggiani, co-founder of Atipico tells us about his startup which is launching its first product, shoelaces.
Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does
Atipico is a fashion accessories company founded with one simple idea: to bring colour and quality into people’s lives, while helping those less fortunate. To make products which are fun and beautiful, but which also make a real difference.
We’re obsessed with an idea: little fashion accessories that make the world a better place. With every purchase, customers help Atipico to make positive change in the world. So people can WEAR SOMETHING GOOD! And for us, it’s more than just a business – it’s something to fight for and be proud of!”
In order to keep it simple we launched Atipico with a vibrantly coloured dress shoe laces.
Floor 1 to 2 - Where are you based?
Atipico is based in London where we design and ship-out our products. We work from our home-studio and also from a shared office space in Shoreditch.
Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?
Atipico was born from the idea that we could and should make a difference. Having experienced problems feeding our first child, the fundamental truth that every child needs and deserves to eat really hit home. And with 925 million undernourished people in the world, our son was actually one of the lucky ones. So our business model relay in simplicity and in a twisted version of One for One model: So for every Atipico accessory purchased, we provide funding for a school meal to a child in need.
Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?
We first chose coloured dress shoe laces because they were no competitors in UK and in general in EU. Mostly our competitors are US and Canada based. We’ll add a new product line in the near future. This is again related to “find a niche” in the market where few or no competitors are.
Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?
We truly believe that people can WEAR SOMETHING GOOD! So our main USP relays on QUALITY, COLOUR and CAUSE.
Quality: As proud Italians, we care about quality, which is why we guarantee that all our accessories are crafted in Italy from the very finest cotton, using traditional Italian manufacturing processes.
Colour: There’s nothing quite like the Italian Spirit, which is why it’s the inspiration for our colour palette. We see true beauty and life in Italian colours. Vibrant, warm, and not too serious, our colours are designed to give your outfit a stylish twist, and make you smile.
Cause: Atipico was born from the idea that we could and should make a difference. Having experienced problems feeding our first child, the fundamental truth that every child needs and deserves to eat really hit home. And with 925 million undernourished people in the world, our son was actually one of the lucky ones. So for every Atipico accessory purchased, we provide funding for a school meal to a child in need.
We Lace Up to fight hunger!
Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?
Atipico came out from a problem we had. Having experienced problems feeding our first child and considering sustainability, we concluded that starting a business rather than a charity would help our impact last longer.
So we came up with idea for ATIPICO and the Lace Up movement. For every Atipico product purchased, we’d provide funding for a school meal to a child in need.
So why coloured dress shoe laces? Because of our heritage (we are both Italians) and because we live in London we had this cool idea to merge the Italian Spirit so full of warm colours with the city lifestyle.
We came up with the idea to make coloured dress shoe laces, designed to bring a fun and a colourful twist to traditional dress shoes.
For us, this became the symbol to start fighting hunger. So this is why we called it “Lace Up” movement.
Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?
We received £5,000!
Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?
We used the amount to finish our project i.e. packaging and dedicated web-site.
Floor 8 to 9 – What’s your workspace like?
This is our home-studio. We don’t need more than a laptop, a phone and a bit of storage for stocks.
When you start a business you’re often lonely, so we placed favorite picts all over our place. This made us feel more connected to the world!
Floor 9 to 10 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?
This is a really good question. Hard to say! What we could say is that we started this business with a simple idea and on simplicity we hopefully will grow! How we’ll grow is unpredictable for us at the moment. In 12 month’s time we hope to spread the word around to start our Lace Up movement!