NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--L’Oréal USA Women in Digital (WID), a program supporting and promoting female entrepreneurs in technology, today announces the 2015 NEXT Generation Award winners: Cast Beauty, Maven and MikMak. Now in its fourth year, the NEXT Generation Awards are given to three female-founded companies creating innovative business solutions within all areas of technology to conceive, partner, launch, and scale new digital ventures with the potential to disrupt and transform the beauty industry, drive brand innovation, and generate value for L’Oréal USA.
“Through this program, L’Oréal is creating a strong community and conversation around the important topic of women in digital,” said Rachel Weiss, Vice President of Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship at L’Oréal USA and chair of L’Oréal USA Women in Digital. “These entrepreneurs have the potential to revolutionize the digital space, drive brand innovation, and become the next generation of leaders in the field. We are thrilled to be a part of their journey.”
According to a 2014 study by Babson University, women receive less than 5 percent of venture capital funding, despite evidence that venture-backed female-led technology companies bring in 12 percent higher revenue than similar male-led companies. The study also showed that female-led companies have a 35 percent higher return on investment. As a company whose primary consumers are women, L’Oréal recognizes this discrepancy and strives to empower women and set an industry example of finding creative ways to support them in technology.
The 2015 winners will have the opportunity to present at L’Oréal USA’s Inspiration Day, the company’s annual internal marketing conference. Held in November, this event brings together more than 450 marketing executives who represent all of L’Oréal’s brands and the Women in Digital strategic committee. Following live presentations, all attendees will vote to award one entrepreneur a guaranteed pilot within the company.
The program also grants award winners access to a network of mentors including venture capitalists, successful entrepreneurs and top executives to help guide and accelerate their businesses. The Women in Digital Advisory board includes leaders in technology such as Joanne Bradford, Chief Operating Officer at SoFi; Margit Wennmachers, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz; Arianna Huffington, Chair, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group; Ann Miura-Ko, Co-Founding Partner of Floodgate and Karin Klein, Partner at Bloomberg Beta.
2015 NEXT GENERATION AWARD WINNERS:
- Cast Beauty – Sian Morson, founder and CEO: Cast Beauty is the first mobile app that uses weather data to provide personalized skin and hair care recommendations. Cast Beauty is designed to fill the need for personalized beauty recommendations based on climate and enables users to purchase appropriate products.
- Maven – Katherine Ryder, founder and CEO: Maven is a platform that empowers the female healthcare consumer to get access to better health information and services. Maven has a network of hundreds of women’s and family healthcare providers and provides prescriptions and doctor visits via video appointment.
- MikMak - Rachel Tipograph, founder and CEO: MikMak is the first mobile video shopping network available for iOS devices in the Apple App Store. MikMak uses short, shoppable infomercials called "minimercials" to showcase innovative products priced below $100 across accessories, beauty, gadgets, jewelry, home goods, kitchenware and more.
Previous NEXT Generation Award winning companies and honorees include: Glamsquad, the app-based beauty provider led by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, that delivers professional beauty services to the home or office in as little as an hour's notice and has implemented several partnerships with L’Oréal brands; Poptip, founded by Kelsey Falter, which utilizes social media data analysis technology with L’Oréal and signed on brands among the likes of Budweiser and Spotify before being acquired by Palantir, a big data company that’s valued at $20 billion; and Melody McCloskey’s StyleSeat, an online marketplace for stylists and beauty professionals to connect with clients that has raised $39 million in funding and partnered with L’Oréal’s Professional Product Division to bring its entire network of salon owners and stylists on board.
“Being a part of the L’Oréal NEXT Generation Awards has been an integral part of growing the StyleSeat brand and community over the past three years,” said Melody McCloskey, co-founder and CEO of StyleSeat and 2012 WID Honoree. “Partnering with an industry titan like L’Oréal has opened up so many doors for us, and we have been able to help raise brand awareness for its portfolio to a new generation of consumers by featuring their network of professional salons on our platform.”
Over the past four years, the Women in Digital Program has created a network of over 2,000 female entrepreneurs to potentially drive innovation at L’Oréal. The success of these women has furthered L’Oréal’s commitment to growing the Women in Digital Initiative each year by identifying unique and creative ways to support women in technology.
For more information, please visit http://lorealwomenindigital.com.
L’ORÉAL USA Women in Digital Program
L’Oréal USA Women in Digital was created to cultivate a strong network and pipeline of female-run companies that can address the evolving needs of beauty consumers through groundbreaking ideas, technologies and content. The program promotes, supports and recruits female entrepreneurs, providing them with the opportunity to launch and scale digital innovations with L’Oréal brands. The annual WID NEXT Generation Awards are given to three female-founded companies that are considered game-changers, and have created innovative business solutions that underscore the needs of the modern day connected consumer, ranging from ecommerce, mobile, customer acquisition and big data, to wearables and 3D printing. Collaboration with an industry leader like L’Oréal – the third largest advertiser in the world – gives these companies the opportunity to apply their technology within the context of the beauty industry and gain access to decision-makers and business leaders at L’Oréal and across the technology sector.
L'Oréal USA is the largest subsidiary of the L'Oréal Group, the worldwide leader in beauty. L'Oréal USA manages a portfolio of more than 30 iconic beauty brands, including Clarisonic, Essie, Garnier, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Kérastase, Kiehl’s, Lancôme, L’Oréal Paris, Matrix, Maybelline New York, NYX, Redken, Soft-Sheen Carson, Urban Decay and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté. In addition to its corporate headquarters in New York City, L'Oréal USA has research, manufacturing and distribution facilities across 13 other states including Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Washington with a workforce of more than 10,000 employees. For more information, visit www.LorealUSA.com or follow on Twitter @LOrealUSA.
L’ORÉAL USA Women in Digital