Curated by Havas and NYC Media Lab, the challenge tasked four startups to uncover innovative customer experiences and solutions to help shape the future of retail

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., July 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — David’s Bridal, the nation’s leading bridal retailer, is evolving not amid but in spite of the global pandemic. In fact, it’s reimagining wedding preparation through a bold digital transformation that has included innovating to meet the needs of their consumers through virtual and online solutions. As part of this digital transformation, David’s Bridal has announced a partnership with on-demand consumer insights platform Perksy after participating in a competition curated by Havas New York, a full-service creative and media agency, and NYC Media Lab, an organization that connects digital media and technology companies with NYC universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent development.

“We jumped at the chance to be a part of a program that invests, rewards, and empowers startups that are on the forefront of retail innovation,” said Kelly Cook, Chief Marketing and IT Officer of David’s Bridal. “We went into this competition knowing we wanted to award a grand prize to the winner. But after seeing the presentations from all of these teams, we were blown away and expanded our offering to grant all of the teams cash prizes and the opportunity to test their solutions with David’s. I’m all about numbers and analytics, and I can already tell our upcoming collaboration with winner Perksy will be incredibly insightful and rewarding.”

The Havas New York and NYC Media Lab program, known as the Lean Venture Studio, brought together early-to-mid-level startups with the best disruptive minds to help reignite retail. The challenge provided these companies a curriculum and resources to develop products that aim to shape new and unique customer experiences and solutions in the retail industry. The startups and their innovations featured were:

  • Perksy – An on-demand insights platform that powers contextual, in-the-moment research with everyday people through an interactive and gamified mobile app that rewards users for answering brand questions
  • Proneer – An omnichannel hardware and software personalization platform, seamlessly integrated to enhance beauty retail experience
  • The Call List – The first-ever interactive video plug-in for e-commerce, powering shoppable video calls from influencers to your brand’s entire community
  • Drops – A social AR platform that allows anyone to drop and collect music, messages, or 3D content

David’s Bridal selected Perksy as the winner of a grant and the opportunity to pilot a program to enhance its own consumer experience. The company will use Perksy’s solutions to continue its digital transformation. David’s Bridal also awarded each remaining startup a partial grant for participating in the competition.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with an iconic retailer like David’s Bridal,” said Nadia Masri, Founder and CEO of Perksy. “Weddings are being reimagined in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and brands understand they must adapt and innovate to meet the needs of their consumers. By leveraging the qualitative research capabilities built in the Havas Retail Accelerator Program, we can connect deeply with brides as they navigate today’s unprecedented choices leading up to their big day.”

What makes this program unique is its approach, bringing together a hybrid agency team of media, creative, business strategy, and analytics experts for education, inspiration and mentorship. In return for gaining academic perspectives, research and access to entrepreneurs shaking up key industries, Havas New York offered grant funding, mentorship and network access to support the next wave of tech-focused talent throughout the duration of the program. Erica Matsumoto, NYC Media Lab’s Director of Partnerships and New Initiatives, said, “It’s a partnership program that explores future-facing concepts, experiments with cutting-edge emerging technologies, and creates new opportunities that strengthen the City’s innovation community.”

“Through the Lean Venture Studio for Retail, we’re moving retail forward by fostering the creation of products and solutions designed to help modernize customers’ retail experiences and infuse new meaning throughout an in-store and online experience,” said James Huerta, Havas North America Director of Emerging Technology.

About David’s Bridal
With 70 years of experience dressing customers for all of life’s special occasions, David’s Bridal is built on the idea that everyone deserves to have the attire of their dreams regardless of style preference, shape, size, or budget. We believe in inclusivity, authenticity, and empowerment, and it is our mission to help anyone and everyone find the look that will allow them to be the best, most genuine version of themselves on their wedding day or any special occasion. David’s Bridal is dedicated to helping each customer, with the assistance of online planning tools, knowledgeable stylists, and expert tailors who will guide them through the entire purchasing journey. With more than 300 stores located across the US, Canada, UK, and franchise locations in Mexico, we offer the convenience of one-stop shopping for the entire wedding party and beyond. To learn more about David’s Bridal, visit and connect on social media through Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

About Havas Group 
Havas is one of the world’s largest global communications groups. Founded in 1835 in Paris, the Group employs 20,000 people in more than 100 countries and operates through its three business units covering all communication activities. Havas Group integrated Vivendi in December 2017. Havas Group’s mission is to make a meaningful difference to brands, to businesses and to people. To better anticipate client needs, Havas has adopted a fully integrated model through its 60 Havas Villages around the world. In these Villages, creative, media and healthcare & wellness teams work together, ensuring agility and a seamless experience for clients. For more information about Havas Group’s creative and media offerings, visit and #MeaningfulDifference

About NYC Media Lab
NYC Media Lab connects media and technology companies with New York City’s universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent development. Comprised of a consortium including New York University, Columbia University, The New School, CUNY, School of Visual Arts, Manhattan College, and Pratt Institute, NYC Media Lab’s goals are to generate research and development, knowledge transfer, and talent across all of the city’s campuses. Created in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the Media Lab is built on corporate membership. Member companies—which include Bloomberg, Havas, The New York Times, Verizon, and more—participate in roundtable events on technology issues; connect with one another and with faculty, students, and other university resources; and direct prototyping projects on various areas of interest from AI and spatial computing to 5G and immersive XR. More information is available at

About Perksy
Perksy is an on-demand insights platform that powers real-time research with everyday people — and a special focus on Millennials & Gen-Z — through an interactive and gamified mobile app that rewards users for answering brand questions. Using our enterprise platform, we enable top brands and agencies to create bespoke research campaigns with media-rich content, target precise audiences, and analyze response data in real-time. With a typical turnaround time of 24 hours, Perksy brings hyper-targeted, hyperlocal, and contextual insights from the hardest-to-reach audiences at an unprecedented scale to help organizations make better, faster decisions. To learn more visit:

Media Contact:
David’s Bridal

SOURCE David’s Bridal, Inc.

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