Stefanie Dhanda, senior director, scientific innovation, consumer at Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJI), moderated the event, which took place during In-Cosmetics North America at the Jacob Javits Center in New York. J&J hosted a Flash Cosmetics Pitch event held during In-Cosmetics in London in April too.
The judges assembled in New York City were John Bell, vice president, external innovation, Johnson & Johnson Consumer; Sebastien Guillon, global president, beauty, Johnson & Johnson; and Jennifer Zhu, vice president, global beauty R&D, Johnson & Johnson.
The winner of the competition, Repairogen Corp., is focused on “commercializing advances in DNA-based skin repair, critical to reducing risk of skin cancer and improving the health and appearance of skin. The firm, based at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, contends its actives significantly reduced DNA damage (measured by reduction in formation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer in skin cells after UV exposure.
Companies that pitched at the event were also focused on novel ingredient technology, but others pitched packaging, finished products and online platforms that solved a problem or addressed an unmet consumer need, according to their executives. For instance, kicking off the presentations was Constructive Research & Development, which pitched a dual-chamber package concept. Later, Nancy Kevorkian, founder of NoseCleen, pitched her 100% cotton swab used for, well, just what is named for—cleaning one’s nose as an alternative to picking. Additional presenters were Sciandonics, which is focused on development of anti-inflammatory conifer-derived lipids; Be-U Cosmétiques, a Canadian startup offering personalized products; USM-Nano Corp., online wellness platform BuddyNSoul; ReinEsse LLC; and Dermal Photonics.
Coming to the Big Apple
With JJI, Johnson & Johnson is banking on the role that innovative startups can play in a multinational company’s success, and to that end, will open a new JLABS location in New York City. JJI, New York State and New York Genome Center (NYGC) plans to open the 30,000-square foot space in January 2018. The project received $17 million in New York State funding. Located in NYGC’s facility in SoHo, JLABS@ NYC will be open to biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer health companies.
JLABS currently has nine locations in “innovation hot spots” across North America. The JLABS flagship opened in 2012 in San Diego, with additional sites now operating in San Francisco, Boston, Houston and Toronto. You can access the list of consumer healthcare residents at JLABS locations here.