“Innovation is at the heart of L'Oréal's business and Montreal is a hub for innovation,” emphasizes Samantha Daude Di Nacera , chief marketing officer at L'Oréal Canada, in a media release about the 2019 cohort. “We are excited,” she adds, “to partner with talents from all across the country to develop new solutions and further establish ourselves as the number one beauty tech company in Canada.”
The Open Innovation Program at L’Oréal Canada
‘Open Innovation’ is the term L’Oréal uses to describe its engagement with entrepreneurs and inventors outside of the company. The beauty maker is working in partnership with startups around the world to discover and develop best-in-class technologies.
“In addition to the [L'Oréal] Group's existing partnerships with Founders Factory, Partech International Ventures and Station F, L'Oréal recently signed a partnership with Partech Africa and created BOLD (Business Opportunities for L'Oréal Development), an investment fund designed to take minority shares in innovative start-ups with strong growth potential,” according to the media release. In fact, L’Oréal’s recent investment in the bioplastics recycling venture Carbios was made my the BOLD fund. Read more about that project here on Cosmetics Design.
And, Frank Kollmar, president and CEO of L'Oréal Canada explains the company’s focus on open innovation this way: “Digital technology brings a major shift to the world of beauty, offering us new opportunities to innovate and interact with our consumers. L'Oréal leverages technology and digital to shape tomorrow's ‘limitless beauty’ for all. We profoundly believe in ‘open innovation,’ says Kollmar, adding that, “By combining our innovation potential with those of start-ups, we will co-create the future of beauty.”
The 5 tech startups participating in L’Oréal Canada corporate accelerator program
4 of the startups participating in this year’s program are based in Canada and 1 is based in New York City. The program itself is a joint initiative between L’Oréal Canada and the OSMO Foundation. OSMO “supports the learning and connectedness of entrepreneurs in and around Montreal, Québec,” as Cosmetics Design reported earlier this year. And that organization helped identify prospective startups for the accelerator program. According to the beauty maker’s media release 160 startups were considered initially; and last month a final group of 12 pitched their businesses to a selection committee. And here are the 5 tech startups now participating in L’Oréal Canada corporate accelerator program:
(The following startup descriptions are taken verbatim from the L’Oréal Canada media release.)
- Blutag AI - New York, USA: Blutag is a SaaS company that creates branded voice experiences for retailers. The voice shopping market is growing rapidly but retailers struggle to deliver good voice experiences, as building for voice requires a completely different set of skills. Blutag is a turnkey solution where retailers can connect their existing stores to quickly deliver voice-shopping experiences to their customers.
- Live Scale - Montréal, Canada: Livescale enriches and transforms the way to broadcast live events. By simplifying the distribution of content on all of its client's social networks and websites simultaneously, Livescale allows them to reach, engage, and monetize their audience, as well as understand the behaviors and interactions of their users.
- Faimdata - Montreal, Canada: extracts unprecedented consumer insight from any security camera feed. These insights help operators craft remarkable experiences in retail stores, malls, banks, public spaces, theme parks, restaurants, digital signage, and many other physical settings across the world.
- Vantage Ai - Toronto, Canada: helps brands selling directly to consumers to monetize their proprietary shopper data to drive new traffic and sales, deepen their digital relationships and be more relevant in the lives of today's digitally active customer. Vantage offers partners the ability to segment their data and deliver hyper-targeted and hyper-relevant ad campaigns across the breadth of online platforms—such as third-party publishers like Google and Facebook.
- Youneeq AI - Victoria, Canada: offers marketers a proven, highly-effective personalization engine that uses AI and Machine Learning to improve the customer experience through increased relevance from personalization. Youneeq personalizes the anonymous customer journey, where 97% of website visitors fall into. Youneeq provides a better customer experience focused on matching anonymous users to the right products, content, messages, calls to action, emails and more.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.