The global beauty company has teamed up with nonprofit Hello Tomorrow, an organisation which aims to link scientists, entrepreneurs and investors, to advance global innovation across sectors.
This year will mark the third annual Hello Tomorrow Challenge run by the organisation, a competition that encourages the development of innovative ideas among early-stage startups into viable, marketable products.
L’Oréal is committed to help Hello Tomorrow assess the trends and define the competition’s ‘beauty & wellbeing’ category, looking to include technologies with the potential to innovate across the supply chain, including 3D printing, robotics, nanotechnology and synthetic biology.
L’Oréal’s participation in the competition as mentor and judge for the beauty & wellbeing category confirms that the company believes startup innovation offers big opportunities for beauty.
“Startup flexibility has the capacity to reduce product development times,” explained the company in a statement.
“Promoting high-potential innovations, developed by start-ups from around the world, and showing that beauty challenges are technological ones, are important objectives for L’Oréal.”
Jacques Leclaire, Scientific Director of the L’Oréal Group, voiced his belief that beauty offers a particularly exciting meeting point of innovation.
“Startups looking for technological challenges will find avenues in the field of beauty and well-being to express their creativity and mastery of big data, biotechs and the microbiome, leading-edge imaging, cognitive sciences or machine learning, etc,” he said.
“These solutions will change the face of the beauty industry.”
Hello Tomorrow 2016 is broad in its reach, according to the organisation: along with beauty & wellbeing, the competition is set to cover various diverse industries, including data, healthcare, food & agriculture, water & waste and air quality, among others.
Startups are invited to apply to the competition, which awards the winners of each category with financial support, mentoring and “considerable visibility” among industry leaders, according to Hello Tomorrow.
“To date, more than 60 million euros has been raised by Hello Tomorrow’s semi-finalists,” explains the organisation.
“Startups have received mentorship and practical guidance from over 150 entrepreneurs, investors, industry participants and partners as well as access to international markets.”