L’Oréal announced in May a strategic investment in Founders Factory, the London-based global digital accelerator and incubator. As part of the partnership, L’Oréal and Founders Factory will each year support the growth of five high potential early stage startups and co-create two new businesses as part of a yearly incubator program.
L’Oréal and Founders Factory received 180 applications. After a pitching session held at L’Oréal headquarters, five startups were selected for a six-month accelerator program:
• InsitU: Personalized, natural skincare available online, developed by scientific experts and available through an online store. Founded by Dr Maria Salichou, a scientist of Greek origin, who holds a nuclear medicine PhD from the University of Oxford and has over 10 years of scientific experience in BioTech and healthcare.
• Preemadonna: Created by Pree Walia from the United States, Preemadonna’s Nailbot device and app enable users to design and print art onto their nails, using their phone, in a matter of seconds. 30,000 people have already signed up to try the Nailbot.
• Veleza: Founded by Lithuanian entrepreneur Martynas Nikolajevas, Veleza is an app-based, supportive community of beauty lovers that helps users discover products that best match their needs providing inspiration, advice and product reviews in real time.
• Cosmose: Founded by Polish entrepreneur Miron Mironiuk, Cosmose uses sophisticated location technology that allows retailers to target offline customers via online channels. Already a success in Asia, Cosmose is based in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Founders Factory was co-founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox.
L’Oréal and Founders Factory will support the growth of these startups in many ways: the in-house team of 60 digital experts at Founders Factory, many of whom being successful entrepreneurs themselves, will provide hands-on and operational support and mentoring. L’Oréal will bring its century-old beauty passion and expertise, access to marketing teams, R&I and ecosystem, according to L'Oréal.
“We believe that open innovation will be key to identify new disruptive ideas and co-develop new services to meet the aspirations of our consumers. We are excited to champion the next generation of beauty entrepreneurs through our partnership with Founders Factory and accelerate their development by bringing them our expertise of the beauty industry,” said Lubomira Rochet, chief digital officer at L’Oréal.