Sahi Cosmetics participating in University of Michigan's Desai Accelerator

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

image courtesy of Sahi Cosmetics
image courtesy of Sahi Cosmetics

Related tags Entrepreneurship Sahi cosmetics

The color cosmetics startup is among only five businesses invited to join the Winter 2017 cohort of the Desai Accelerator, a program designed to help passionate entrepreneurs, like Sahi Cosmetics founder Sheleen Sahi, succeed.

Beauty brands and services that cater to underserved consumers are becoming a big business and changing the industry landscape. Sahi Cosmetics is poised to be a part of the movement.

Sheleen Sahi launched her eponymous makeup brand at the start of 2016 to meet the needs of beauty consumers with olive and yellow under tones to their skin. “Women of Hispanic, Indian, Arabic, Asian, and Mediterranean decent find it difficult to match products with their complexions because most companies target Caucasian skin tones,” ​the Sahi Cosmetics site explains.

It’s that mission the company will work to expand on at the University of Michigan's Desai Accelerator.

Support system

“Entrepreneurs are running fast in many different directions fueled by creativity and energy. Receiving guidance and support at the right time is key to becoming a successful entrepreneur,” ​Angela Kujava, the accelerator’s incoming managing director, says is a press release.

Sahi Cosmetics received Kickstarter funding from seven founding sponsors. Now, as part of the Desai Accelerator the company will receive an additional $25,000. Office space, mentorship, and business resources like cloud credits, legal advice, and HR services are also part of the opportunity.

Sheleen Sahi is a University of Michigan alum, having earned a Master of Business Administration degree just last year. In her bio on the Sahi site, she notes that her “background in biology, chemistry, engineering, as well as research helped me transition into the role of a cosmetic developer and founder.”

Besides Sahi Cosmetics, startups participating in the Desai Accelerator this term include, Circadian Risk (a mobile software), an app called Food Stand, ScoutDay (networking for high school athletes and college coaches), and Warmilu (non-electric warming tech).

New management

Angela Kujava has just come on board as the Desai Accelerator’s managing director. Most previously Kujava was director of innovation at application development firm Logic Solutions. She’s long been a supporter of founders and startups, and the University of Michigan is grateful she’ll be leading the accelerator.

“Angela is the ideal leader to forge the future direction of the Desai Accelerator and help the program grow against the backdrop of an ever-evolving entrepreneurial landscape,”​ Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute, says in the press release. “Her strong background in technology and startup consulting will be integral to the success of our entrepreneurs.”

As for Kujava, she’s ready to set to work and help advance businesses like Sahi Cosmetics: “We have exceptional startups in our Desai community, including several founded by Michigan alumni, and I am excited to begin the work of helping them reach the next stage,” ​Kujava says.

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