Sephora‘s 2021 Accelerate Incubator program is here and it features a unique trait this year: Only founders of color are a part of the cohort. Sephora’s Accelerate Incubator program is in its sixth year, but the brand saw this year as an opportunity to highlight BIPOC founders after becoming the first company to sign Aurora James’s 15 Percent Pledge last year.
The Sephora Accelerate program is an intensive program focusing on mentorship, merchandising support, investor connections, and more. “The goal of this program has long been to provide meaningful, ongoing support for growing brands, and that is exactly what we’re aiming to deliver to our 2021 Accelerate cohort,” said Artemis Patrick, Sephora’s Executive VP and Global CMO. The virtual experience will include a kickoff orientation, Bootcamp, pitch day, and more. The class of founders will have advisors like Nancy Twine, founder of Brigeo, and Vicky Tsai, founder of Tatcha, two heavy-hitters in the beauty industry. They’ll also be joined by other brand founders such as Milk Makeup, and Adwoa.
The best news? Upon completion of the program, these brands will be available to shop at Sephora. Each brand has a unique approach to beauty, which makes them not only deserving of shelf space at Sephora but worthy of a chance at growth and major exposure. The BIPOC-founded brands include eight innovative beauty startups. First up is Topicals, a skincare brand making flare-ups fun. Imania Beauty is a hemp and wellness-conscious brand that focuses on scalp treatments. Next is Hyper Skin, with its hyperpigmentation serum rooted in multiculturalism, and ries, a luxe brand bringing biodegradable TSA-friendly containers. 54 Thrones specializes in African-grown face and body products, while EADEM offers science-backed ingredients and heritage botanical products for skin of color. Glory, on the other hand, offers clean, targeted treatments formulated for melanin-rich skin; and last but not least is Kulfi Beauty, a makeup brand offering fun and approachable products. The 2021 class of founders is the perfect blend of diverse products and professionals who have different approaches to beauty. While some brands have already launched, others are looking to launch this year.
These brands represent the future of beauty from their innovativeness to the unique approaches their product brings to the industry. Sephora’s commitment to advancing and supporting these founders is a great way to expand their brand’s beyond the startup phase. Minority founders almost always lack resources. These startups are demanding change in the industry, challenging beauty standards, and shifting the way we approach beauty, and that calls for a spot in Sephora. We can’t wait to see how the Accelerate program benefits each of these founders (and start shopping each brand on Sephora shelves!)
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