10 Beauty Tech Startup Accelerators and Incubators – Best of 2019

The beauty industry is always changing as it tries to keep up with the latest consumer trends. K-Beauty has dominated the skincare space for many years now and global beauty brands are looking to see where they should go next. The beauty trends are shifting from legacy brands to more independent brands. Beauty startups and beauty tech startup accelerators are now focusing more on clean, vegan, and natural products that attract the typical millennial consumer. In addition, there has been a greater focus on customization, such as personalized skincare according to body and skin types.

Beauty entrepreneurs face a lot of challenges when they try to take their products to market. Building a beauty brand takes a lot of work and money. In addition, renting office space, renting equipment, hiring beauty experts, and getting funding are some of the challenges many beauty startups face early on. The good news is that there are beauty tech startup accelerators and incubators that are helping beauty startups grow through investment, free office spaces, networking, distribution support, and consulting/mentoring. Furthermore, these accelerators and incubators play an important role in helping beauty startups attract funding, grow, and scale.

Beauty tech startup accelerators are what we would call vertically focused accelerators. These are accelerators that focus on one sector. They already know the field, have unique solutions and know the challenges that are ahead. Therefore beauty tech startup accelerators understand the rapidly changing trends in the beauty industry, the competitive landscape, and have a unique network of investors and partners in the beauty industry. Furthermore, as the list will show, big corporates like Target, L’Oréal, NIVEA, and Sephora are partnering with beauty startups so they can work with new exciting and innovative companies.

The Best Beauty Tech Startup Accelerators & Incubators for 2019

NIVEA Accelerator

NIVEA Accelerator in KoreaNIVEA Accelerator (NX) is the first global beauty accelerator in Korea started by Beiersdorf Korea. When looking to find the next generation in disruptive beauty tech, there is no better place than Korea. K-Beauty has been dominating the beauty/skincare space for many years now. The NX program offers strategic collaboration between the NX startups and Beiersdorf. Over 200 beauty startups applied for the selection process.

NX builds on the global network of Beiersdorf (based in over 160 countries). The program offers tailored acceleration programs for each startup and offers startups to pitch for investment from Beiersdorf. Furthermore, their office space has an exclusive collaboration with WeWork Korea. The NX office offers private offices, a photo studio, and event space. In addition, the program is longer than most acceleration programs and goes for 1 year to maximize the potential of each startup.

L’Oréal Open Innovation

Open Innovation Beauty Tech Startup AcceleratorsThe L’Oréal Open Innovation was created by L’Oréal to establish a lasting connection between beauty and tech startups. In addition, they are looking to create the next generation of innovative beauty products, devices, and digital services. L’Oréal is the official sponsor of the beauty tech accelerator within Station F, which is the world’s biggest startup campus. The main vision is to drive open innovation in beauty and tech throughout  L’Oréal globally.

L’Oréal has partnerships with not only STATION F but also Founders Factory and Partech International Ventures to help innovative beauty startups with investment and office space. In addition, L’Oréal signed a partnership with Partech Africa to create BOLD (Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development) which is an investment fund for startups with high growth potential. Therefore, this is a win-win collaboration lets beauty startups benefit from L’Oréal’s knowledge in the field of beauty, and allows them to invest in disruptive innovations.

Target Takeoff

Target Takeoff Beauty AcceleratorTarget Takeoff is not just for beauty startups but an accelerator with a product-centered focus. They offer virtual and in-person workshops and mentoring. They work with you to help you launch and scale your brand to market. The in-person workshop takes place in Minneapolis, Minnesota and lasts for one week. Afterward, they will get continued mentoring and guidance through virtual workshops for the next month. Finally, they will return to Minneapolis for a demon day to showcase their product.

Target Takeoff focused a lot on the beauty industry in early 2019. They brought in 10 beauty startups to work alongside business mentors which include more than 70 Target leaders across the company. The latest Target Takeoff brought in 7 emerging startups. These companies represented a wide range of innovative product solutions from personalized nutrition planning to resources for caregivers of aging parents. Therefore whether you are a beauty startup or startups looking to help consumers control their wellness, think about joining Target Takeoff in 2020.

La Maison des Startups

LVMH StartupsLa Maison des Startups is an accelerator program that was created by LVMH Maisons to help startups invent innovative new products and services for the luxury market. The program is designed for startups whose innovations are relevant to the different LVMH business groups such as Fashion & Leather Goods, Wine&Spirits, Watches & Jewelry, and Perfume & Cosmetics.

The LVMH Program takes in 50 international startups each year for their 2 six-month acceleration programs. Most of the selected startups were selected after competing for the LVMH Innovation Award at the Viva Technology show. The acceleration program offers personalized coaching and support from LVMH experts. In addition, they offer workshops on the challenges when entering the luxury industry.

Sephora Accelerate

Sephora Accelerate Sephora Accelerate is Sephora’s own version of a startup incubator. It is a one year program that offers a Bootcamp and mentorship to female founders of beauty startups. At the end of the program, these beauty startups will get an opportunity to pitch their idea in front of industry leaders and Sephora executives. Sephora looks for female founders of early-stage startups that offer a cosmetic product or technology that could help the beauty industry.

Sephora Accelerate startups that also focus on social impact through sustainable sourcing. They will give the startup a grant of $2,500.  This grant is used to pay for the mandatory boot camp in San Francisco in April and the demo day in August. The demo day will be in front of the Sephora merchandising team and industry experts. Furthermore, the Bootcamp will offer beauty startups workshops on business models and marketing. Furthermore, they will have access to mentoring from Sephora and the design firm IDEO.

Sally Beauty Cultivate

Sally Beauty CultivateSally Beauty Cultivate is a business accelerator program to help female beauty entrepreneurs grow their business. It was launched by Sally Beauty, which is the largest retailer and distributor of professional beauty supplies. Their accelerator program aims to find emerging startups focused on hair care products that are innovative and address the needs of the customer. The top beauty startup brand will get $25,000 in financial support, product distribution at SallyBeauty.com, and mentorship from the Sally Beauty team. Furthermore, the beauty startups will get the opportunity to get their products into the hands of high powered beauty influencers at one of Sally Beauty’s monthly influencer events.

The beauty startup must be founded by a female entrepreneur. It must focus on hair products in coloring, hair care, or hair tools. They must be able to support the online fulfillment of their hair care products. In addition, their products can not and will not in the future be distributed by a major retailer. All startups must agree to a one year exclusivity period and must reside legally in the United States.

HatchBeauty Brands

Beauty Tech Startup AcceleratorsHatchBeauty Brands is a beauty and wellness incubator. They recently partnered with Lion Capital to address the evolving needs of the health, wellness, and beauty sector. They will look to invest in digital, creative, and commercial leadership. In addition, Lion Capital will be able to provide mentorship, infrastructure, and technology for rapid growth in the digital space.

HatchBeauty focuses on beauty innovation. They work with brands and retailers on developing co-owned brands. Furthermore, their incubator utilizes their in-house digital marketing and influencer division to recreate celebrity cosmetic brands. Some of their current brands include Found, NatureWell, Kristofer BuckleOrlando Pita, Nailing Hollywood, Jenna Hip and Chad Kenyon.

The Unilever Foundry

Beauty Tech StartupUnilever Ventures is the venture capital and private equity arm of Unilever. They have The Unilever Foundry which is a global collaborative innovation platform for partnering with startups to accelerate innovation on a global scale. Their focus is on beauty, personal care, and digital startups. They help startups with partnerships, brand licensing, new product development, joint ventures, and startup investment. Their workspaces bring in startups, Unilever brands, and corporate partners together to foster innovation and collaboration.

The Unilever Foundry has profiled over 10,000 startups and has done over 200 pilot programs which raised over $20 million in investments. In addition, they also backed the free beauty search engine Mira (ask.mira.com) which aims to democratize the world of beauty. Therefore, users can find real consumer reviews, compare products side-by-side, and do click through purchase options.

SV Beautytech Acceleration Program

SVBeautyTechSV Beautyech Acceleration is a beauty accelerator program created by IgniteXL (global accelerator and seed fund) and Draper University. It is Silicon Valley’s first beauty accelerator program that is not affiliated with a large retailer or brand. Their first batch started with 9 startups merging beauty and technology. It is a 3-week boot camp plus a 6-month acceleration program that focuses on development and growth.

IgniteXL and Draper University take 1-3% equity in the startups which must have a working prototype with unique product innovations in beauty, fashion, health, or well-being. Startups in the program learn how to navigate the digital landscape and shoring up data security. They will be provided housing/co-working space for the duration of the program. In addition, they will get individual pitch coaching by venture capitalist Tim Draper, and access to mentors with the vast expertise of the beauty and early-stage investors.

SLA Accelerator

SLA AcceleratorSLA Accelerator stands for She Leads Africa Accelerator and it is a 4-month program that is designed to find, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s best female entrepreneurs. The winner of the program will get an N2 million funding grant from SLA. Therefore, the program is only open to startups based anywhere in Nigeria.

The 4-month program will provide hands-on support and coaching, as well as, a chance to pitch their business to investors. To apply just fill out their application on their website and do an interview. The SLA Team will review the applicants to see if they will take part in the SLA Accelerator program. The program itself will be a one-week in-person boot camp where startups will get training from the SLA team and Nigeria’s most prominent business experts.