Designers gain access to $13.1 million in equipment to turn ideas into profitable products

Applications are now open for Austin Community College District’s (ACC) Fashion Incubator designer-in-residence program. The incubator provides small business and emerging entrepreneurs access to cutting-edge resources to help turn their fashion ideas into profitable products.

“The ACC Fashion Incubator has worked with 26 brands from idea generation to sales since our first cohort in the fall of 2020,” says Nina Means, ACC Fashion Incubator director. “I am so proud of the talent we have helped develop, with students showcasing their work across the country, including at New York Fashion Week. This year we hope to reach another diverse group of talented designers and early-stage apparel brands in Austin.”

In partnership with the City of Austin Economic Development Department and Gerber Technology, the ACC Fashion Incubator is driving the local industry forward with real-to-industry capabilities and education. 

This application is open to early-stage startup fashion brands/fashion designers who seek the opportunity to: 

  • Learn how fashion technology can put you ahead of your competition
  • Gain access to a dedicated studio workspace with industry-grade equipment
  • Connect with a community of business-minded creatives
  • Get introduced to suppliers and factories to realize your fashion label
  • Get mentored by industry experts

This 12-month program covers an intensive curriculum including concepts of commercialization, product development/production, small business practice, and marketing. Successful completion of the 12-month program will grant access to the ACC Fashion Incubator Studios for an additional 12 months.

Successful applicants will: 

  • Develop apparel products that are ready to wear
  • Demonstrate clarity of vision (what they are designing and for whom)
  • Provide images of prototypes (finalists will be asked to bring samples for an interview)
  • Demonstrate engagement and/or interest in fashion technology 
  • Include sustainability and/or circularity in their fashion business plans
  • Build their brands in Austin, TX

ACC Fashion Incubator applications are now available online until August 7, 2022. The ACC Fashion Incubator takes on its third cohort this October.  

For further information or questions about the application, email [email protected] or visit