L'Oréal Canada announces 2019 corporate accelerator program finalists
L'Oréal Canada has selected the five startups that will participate in its first open innovation program, which includes a wide-range of tech-focused startups from the voice shopping market, to AI and machine learning.
The finalists were selected among 12 startups – chosen from 41 applicants - that were invited to pitch their innovative technological solutions for the accelerator program at the end of June.
The selected startups who will participate in the five-month accelerator program include Montreal company Live Scale, and Faimdata; Toronto-based Vantage Ai; Youneeq AI, hailing from Victoria, BC; and the only U.S. finalist, Blutag AI.
Announced back in April in partnership with OSMO, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide ecosystem development for local start-ups, the program was designed to help L'Oréal Canada in its quest to become the top beauty tech company.
"Digital technology brings a major shift to the world of beauty, offering us new opportunities to innovate and interact with our consumers. L'Oréal leverages technology and digital to shape tomorrow's "limitless beauty" for all," said Frank Kollmar, president & CEO of L'Oréal Canada.
"We profoundly believe in 'open innovation'. By combining our innovation potential with those of start-ups, we will co-create the future of beauty.”
L'Oréal currently runs a number of initiatives to bolster its open innovation strategy including partnerships with Founders Factory, Partech International Ventures and Station F.
Most recently, L'Oréal signed a partnership with Partech Africa and created 'BOLD' (Business Opportunities for L'Oréal Development), an investment fund designed to take minority shares in innovative start-ups with strong growth potential.
Meanwhile, this accelerator program marks its first collaboration in Canada and could also possibly lead to an investment with the BOLD fund.
"During the next few months, the five startups will participate in an accelerator program designed to help them implement and validate their solutions (Proofs of concept) in collaboration with the internal executive teams at L'Oréal Canada,” explained Valérie Forget, program director of the OSMO Foundation.
“Our goal is to facilitate and accelerate the L'Oréal-startups collaboration process by initiating a win-win relationship.”
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