Alexa Buffum & Stephanie Halphen

Finalist 2014

Alexa Buffum & Stephanie Halphen

Connects independent brands and retailers through a digital platform.

Alexa Buffum and Stephanie Halphen both attended university in Boston, but only met when studying together on the MBA programme at IESE in Spain. This is where they developed the idea for their company, Agorique. ‘We decided to look at the fashion industry because a friend had started her own fashion brand and she told us about the difficulties of trying to get boutiques to carry her products.’

Their answer to this challenge was Agorique. Founded in 2012, it is an online marketplace that connects fashion brands with retailers, allowing the two groups to communicate freely and conduct transactions. According to its co-founders, going digital was ‘a way to move past the traditional twice-a-year trade show model, which is how the fashion industry has been working.’ They wanted purchasing to work at any time of the year, from anywhere in the world, ‘and at a cheaper price for fashion brands, which normally have to pay travel expenses and rent stands at shows.’