Future beauty entrepreneurs, listen up. Sephora might just become your new business BFF. The mega beauty retailer recently announced they’re launching Sephora Accelerate, a program designed to help 10 female run companies get an innovative, beauty-related business off the ground.
The program will begin with a one-week boot camp at their SF headquarters in April where founders will be assigned a one-on-one mentorship with a beauty expert. While there, they’ll also work with various entrepreneurs to acquire the necessary skills to create a successful business (like building a business model, growth plan, funding strategy, etc.). From there, trained designers from IDEO will work with founders to make their business look beautiful.
Participants will return to SF for a demo day in August where they’ll receive a $2,500 grant and have a chance to pitch their product (and/or technology) directly to senior leaders from Sephora’s Merchandising and Innovation teams. $2,500 may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but the value of this program definitely comes with the industry connections you’ll be making. It should also be noted that both trips to San Francisco will be fully paid for by Sephora.
Before you whip out your resume, the application process for the inaugural program is by invitation only through Sephora’s partner OpenIDEO. However, for future reference, here are a few requirements the selected brands must meet: The business must be founded by a woman 18 years or older and headquartered in the United States, Canada, Mexico or Brazil. Sephora is also looking for more than a good idea. You’ll need a working prototype that has been iterated on at least once. Finally, the business needs to include some sort of social impact concept.
Even though you might not be able to participate this time around don’t lose, hope. In a press release about the new initiative, Sephora pledged to help 50 women-led beauty businesses get off the ground by 2020.
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(Photos via Kimberly White/Getty)