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Sephora Accelerate announces first cohort of women-led beauty startups

By Deanna Utroske

10-Mar-2016
Last updated on 10-Mar-2016 at 17:21 GMT2016-03-10T17:21:02Z

Sephora Accelerate announces first cohort of women-led beauty startups

This week the global beauty retailer named 8 North American beauty companies—specializing in skin care, cosmetics, and tech—that will be participating in Sephora’s inaugural business incubator program.

Sephora expanded across North America after luxury group LVMH acquired the retailer in 1997. And, the Sephora Accelerate startup incubator program is the latest company initiative to engage the market place and inspire consumers in the region.

“Sephora is thrilled to announce the entrepreneurs selected for our Accelerate Cohort program.  These female founders from the US, Mexico and Canada have impressed us with their vision and unique approach to beauty,” says Corrie Conrad, the company’s head of social impact, in a statement to the press about the program.

“We are excited to take the next step in building a supportive community and learning environment for these early stage leaders, who are helping to shape the industry we are so passionate about at Sephora, an industry we are honored to share with these future brand leaders,” she adds.

The playing field

The company is already very influential in the cosmetics industry. With the Accelerate program, Sephora is both championing other industry innovators and staying in touch with the marketplace at large.  

Sephora is championing women, in particular, with this program. “Currently, female entrepreneurs do not have the same access to funding, connections, or business instruction as male entrepreneurs do,” explains the company in its statement.

“Recognizing that even in the beauty industry, where most customers are women, female founders are still underrepresented, Sephora designed the Sephora Accelerate program to build a community of innovative female founders in all areas of the beauty industry.”

Participants are company founders or co-founders. Sephora also requires that each company has a social impact component. Beyond that, there are two categories of companies involved: ones “that creates a cosmetic product, or [ones] that creates technology or provide services related to beauty or that could be relevant to the beauty industry.”

The companies

Eight women are participating in the program this year. They are listed here, followed by their company’s name, and a brief description (taken verbatim from Sephora’s press statement).

  • Candace Mitchell, Myavana 
    Myavana is a data-driven social platform that offers personalized hair analysis, consultations, and product recommendations.       
  • Carolina Grove, Stylerz 
    Stylerz allows you to discover top Beauty Salons, Spas, Barbers and independent professionals in Mexico, so you can book an appointment when and where you want from your Smartphone or PC. 
  • Danielle Cohen-Shohet, Glossgenius 
    Glossgenius is an innovative digital personal assistant for independent beauticians. It helps them manage and grow their businesses through proactive client engagement and marketing tools. 
  • Karissa Bodnar, Thrive Causemetics 
    Thrive Causemetics is Beauty with a Purpose™, creating high-performance, vegan, luxury cosmetics. For every product purchased, one is donated to a woman going through cancer treatment.     
  • Leila Janah, Laxmi 
    Laxmi is a luxury skincare brand dedicated to prioritizing humanity. They formulate with pure, rare and effective botanicals that work on your skin, and provide work for women around the world, to end global poverty.     
  • Lisa Mattam, Sahajan   
    Sahajan creates ayurvedic inspired, organic skincare--marrying the ancient traditions of Ayurveda with modern science.     
  • Naa-Sakle Akuete, Eu'Genia Shea  
    Eu'Genia Shea makes shea-based products with at least 95% pure shea content.  Their fully transparent supply chain empowers women and their families in Ghana.     
  • Suzanne LeRoux, One Love Organics 
    One Love Organics creates certified organic and environmentally friendly skincare of the highest quality. They manufacture their own products and are 1 of only a small number of ECOCERT licensed manufacturers for natural and organic cosmetics in the US. 

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