Vertical Impact

Delivering transformative solutions and growth to the retail industry

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The Vertical Impact Studio, a partnership between Vertical Partners and Newlab, works with industry leaders to merge their corporate strategies with market leading technologies to achieve greater efficiencies, expand product lines, deliver enhanced customer experiences, and create opportunities for strategic investment and growth. Our studio collaborator, Leonisa is a vertically integrated fashion brand with a presence in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Leonisa is seeking to expand into the medical textiles space by combining advanced functional yarns or e-textiles with their Colombia-based manufacturing capabilities.

The Vertical Impact Studio is seeking innovative companies developing new forms of smart textile with medical and general wellness applications. Pilot activities will be run alongside Leonisa's R&D team and Leonisa’s investment arm, providing an opportunity for studio participants to explore new ways of integrating their technologies, co-create new manufactured products, and seek new business opportunities with a leading brand and retail manufacturer.

Studio Partner
Studio Partner
Studio Collaborator
Studio Collaborator

Corporate partners play a vital role in the success and impact of our Innovation Studios. Joining the Vertical Impact Studio is a unique avenue to collaborate with top entrepreneurs from across the globe, solve your most pressing business challenges, and invest in outcomes that catalyze growth.
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Who Should Apply?

Early-stage or mature ventures seeking to integrate their technology and scale their products through advanced textile manufacturing operations. Companies should be developing new materials and/or advancing medical use cases tied to a regulatory strategy. Specifically, companies working within: advanced functional yarns that enhance a textile’s functionality and smart sensing fabrics that monitor and detect body changes such as activity/movement, compression, biometrics and vitals/ ECG. Specifically, the Studio is seeking companies working on technologies including but not limited to:

  • Active bio-based functional fibers
  • Durable antimicrobial coatings
  • Thermo-reactive materials
  • Active dermatological compounds
  • Physiological sensing
  • Soft, flexible and stretchable sensors and actuators
  • Phase-changing, microfluidics and shape-memory materials
  • Textile embedded sensors
  • Coating formulations and processes
  • Functional additives for textile fibers


Investment & Exposure

  • Total grant funding pool up to $150K divided among participating companies to support pilot development and offset associated costs; no equity taken.
  • Access to Newlab's wide network of over 600 angel investors interested in early stage deep-tech companies.
  • Close collaboration with Leonisa and exposure to their manufacturing capabilities to explore joint product verticals or opportunities to scale medical textile products.
Build & Pilot
  • Structured strategy and support from Newlab to advance your pilot concept and solicit feedback and input from key stakeholders to support customer discovery, uncover technology requirements, meet compliance requirements and launch new products.
  • Ongoing support from the Newlab team, Leonisa, Vertical Partners and a network of relevant stakeholders to navigate the complex pathways to scale medical textile applications.
  • Access to Leonisa’s pilot site to design, scope, deploy and monitor pilot projects.
Community & Space
  • Access to the Newlab flagship location and peer community of 250+ companies scaling transformative technology.
  • Engagement with leading industry, venture, and academic experts through curated programming and office hours.
  • Access to $5M in on-site prototyping resources and product realization team; 84,000 sq ft industrial work space, and compute testbed infrastructure in the 300-acre Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Apply now

Key Dates
Open Call deadline
Jul 27, 2022
Info Session 1
June 30, 2022
Info Session 2
July 20, 2022
Finalists notified
Late August 2022
Startups selected
September 2022
Startups in Program
September 2022 - December 2022
Demo Day in NYC
January 2023
Follow-on Support
January 2023 - March 2023
Focus Areas
Advanced functional yarns

Advanced threads and fibers that enhance functionality for medical application. By leveraging advanced material science including passive indicators, functional coatings and other nano or biotechnology-based surface treatments.

Smart sensing fabrics

Exploring integration of smart textile sensors that are soft, flexible and can be woven or knitted on industrial machines and have proven medical or general wellness applications. Areas such as monitoring and detecting body changes,activity/movement, compression levels, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation, ECG and other vital signs are all of interest.

About Vertical Partners

Vertical Partners is a leading LATAM investment group that builds and capitalizes strategic partnerships to advance the future of manufacturing and retail. Beyond being an investment vehicle, Vertical Partners is an ally in knowledge, experience, and strategic solutions that seek to recognize the potential of technology in the Colombia/LATAM industry and identify new opportunities and strategic partners.


LEONISA is a global company with over 65 years of experience in women and men underwear, shapewear, swimwear, outerwear and sportswear manufacturing. As a vertically integrated family business, it has managed to become the number 1 brand in Latin America and has a direct presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, making it an important retailer and commercial platform worldwide.

Besides the vertical integration, which allowed LEONISA to evolve to become a customer centric company, it is a well established digital multi-brand, multi-channel and multi-category business. With state-of-the-art technology and exclusive machinery, LEONISA manufactures 90% of its supplies and 100% of its products to guarantee the highest quality.

LEONISA is pioneering the digital transformation and tech adoption in its industry, while leveraging this to become 100% environmentally responsible. LEONISA is a socially inclusive global brand, committed to sustainability.

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