Beauty Tech Wins at the L’Oréal Digital NEXT Generation Awards

by Tishin Donkersley

What an exciting time to be a beauty entrepreneur. According to a report by Forbes, the industry is expected to be a $445 billion market and expected to reach $675 billion by 2020. And according to CB Insights, 62 privately held beauty companies were acquired in 2016. For startups entering the market, it’s looking pretty attractive.

Cosmetic company L’Oréal USA, held it’s Women in Digital NEXT Generation Awards where three beauty tech companies took home the win. The L’Oréal Women in Digital program has created a network of more than 2,000 female-operated companies. And previous winners have experienced tremendous business growth and have collectively raised over $300 million in funding.

“For the past five years, L’Oréal has sought out women-led businesses poised to grow the beauty industry through cutting-edge technologies,” says Rachel Weiss, Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at L’Oréal USA. “This year, our advisory board and strategic committee chose three companies with technology at the core that allow consumers to interact with beauty in new and exciting ways.”

Here are the female founder winners:

ShearShare Courtney Caldwell, cofounder and COO

We are excited to see ShearShare, the first on-demand salon and barbershop space rental app, as they were the 2016 TechCo Startup of the Year winners, and went on to 500 Startups following the competition. ShearShare gives licensed beauty and barbering professionals the freedom and flexibility to rent workspace by the day, while salon and barbershop owners make money on unused space.

After 500 Startups, ShearShare Plans Silicon Valley Move

HelloAva Siqi Mou, founder

HelloAva was developed out of frustration at the consumption of skincare products, as many consumers cannot correctly identify their skin types. To address this issue, after finishing her undergraduate and MBA at Stanford, Siqi built an app that includes a chatbot, who answers questions directly via text and makes personalized product recommendations based on feedback.

“We’ve seen great emergence of consumer technology companies run by women such as StitchFix, Rent the Runway, and Rocket of Awesome. These are great examples that give us the confidence to believe that we as female founders, have invaluable consumer insight and if we can leverage that to our advantage, we can truly be pioneers in consumer technology entrepreneurship,” Siqi said.

Left to right: Shine, HelloAva, ShearShare

Shine – Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, cofounders

Shine is a texting service making well-being more accessible through the power of daily messaging. By sending daily affirmations, they are doing their part to help women and men feel more confident, productive and happy.

These female founders are not only bringing higher quality technology to the beauty industry but paving the way for more women to enter the tech scene.

Read about more female startup founders at TechCo

Read more about TechCo’s Startup of the Year Competition and get your startup noticed!