Angelia Muller (Director of XRC Labs, an innovation accelerator for the next generation of disruptors in the retail and consumer goods sectors, and a joint venture between founding sponsor organizations Kurt Salmon and the Parsons School of Design at the New School, with the support of the Harvard University Innovation Lab) joins Pavan Bahl (Open Source Fashion), Rob Sanchez (Ralph and Remington [Episode 22]) and Marc Raco (The Hope Is Project and Monkey Radio) in front of a live studio audience for an interview as part of the Open Source Fashion “Coffee and Convos” Series at Rise New York. The discussion starts with a look at Muller’s multi-ethnic, multi-national background, and a story (for once, Rob is prepared) for FashInvest Investment News about TrueFacet, a NY-based marketplace for fine designer jewelry recently launching a text-based concierge service to find, authenticate and sell jewelry. Talk of investors knowing next big thing in a $5 Trillion jewelry space. Muller reflects on XRC Labs’ participant Gleem & Co (an online luxury marketplace for buying & consigning designer jewelry and watches for up to 80% off retail) being treasure hunters (such as locating a piece from the Titanic), the vital nature of their in-house appraiser, the approach to luxury consignment, a consumer education play along with execution, and another intriguing trend in an on-demand labor force for retail. Plus a Feed the Animals segment “Hail Mary” results in projectiles and an omelet.
Muller shares what interests her about running an accelerator, the meaning of “stage agnostic”, an idea for a new type of hackathon, a look at how great companies pivot when the best ideas are formed through testing and learning how much people care about an. Getting ego out of way so one can pivot, the type of personalities wanted, How people can work together in ecosystem, the unpredictable nature of team dynamics and expansion, “accelerator fatigue and why creating ecosystems in the retail and consumer goods arena with design focus makes this one different. Muller talks about the resources provided in the accelerator and the hybrid of investment in equity, providing space, balancing between companies’ best interests and protecting the accelerator’s equity interests. An exploration of the word “hodgepodge”, why the accelerator is not a money play, and investing in people. A look at what is common between people that will make them successful, the impact of bringing in design experts to help teams build designs to make products both functional and beautiful, and how the “win-win platform” includes parsons designers wanting to understand startup scene.
Off the Grid Questions reveals Muller’s interest in a mix of art and science and shifting culture into merging worlds, her stints in meal delivery, her Chinese/ German/Chinese/Jewish family in Hong Kong, translator vs. anthropologist, why she had thirty dating apps installed on phone, the dream of a connected micro-home, and how the how stethoscope symbolized her family’s culture.by