Coty launched its Digital Accelerator last year to support in-house technology innovation and the integration of digital capabilities from acquired companies.
“At Coty, we’re focused on transforming our digital capabilities across the organization, and the launch of the Digital Accelerator represented a key milestone in this transformation,” says Jason Forbes, chief digital and media officer at Coty, in today’s press release about the AI competition.
“I’m thrilled to take this initiative a step further by bringing external start-ups into the mix. Coty has a growing expertise in partnerships with a breadth of start-ups to drive growth across our brands,” he says referring to the company’s partnership with the ecommerce platform Younique and recent acquisitions of Beamly and ghd.
“We’re excited about fostering deeper commercial relationships with start-ups aligned with our key priorities,” he says, adding that “AI is a foundational example of this.”
Pitches that make it past the first round will be re-presented at Coty’s quarterly digital accelerator summit. Winners will receive a cash prize and get to work directly with Coty on a pilot version of their project.
And there are plans to host successive competitions going forward, each focused on various capabilities the company is exploring, like AR, voice, and 3D printing.
Call for entries
The deadline for entries is Monday, March 12.
And the criteria Coty has outlined are straightforward:
- Provide a concise description of what makes the start-up unique in AI
- Select a specific Coty brand and demonstrate how that brand will benefit from the start up’s AI technology, metrics are a plus
- Describe the preferred partnership model to drive in-market trialling
For start-ups interested in submitting a pitch or requesting more information, Coty has provided this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Describing Coty’s interest in tech innovation a bit further, Fred Gerantabee, VP of digital innovation, says, “Partnerships between Coty and emerging companies such as Beamly and Holition, which launched our first app free Augmented Reality (AR) experience exclusively for COVERGIRL, is an indication of how we’d like to bring disruptive new approaches to the market in partnership with unique new players in AI, AR, voice and other rapidly growing technologies. We intend to foster these relationships and look forward to more examples like this coming out of our Digital Accelerator summits.” (Read more about Coty’s new app-free AR for CoverGirl here on Cosmetics Design.)
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.