L’Oréal China Launches First Beauty Tech Challenge for Startups in China in Bid to Build up Beauty Tech Ecosystem

Mutual Empowerment with Tech Startups, Co-creation the Beauty Tech Eco-system, and Accelerate a New Engine for Consumption in the Post-COVID-19 Era

Shanghai, June 5, 2020 -- Earlier today, L’Oréal China officially announced the launch of “BIG BANG Beauty Tech Startup Challenge”. As China’s first startup challenge faces beauty tech ecosystem, it cloud-invites domestic tech startups to participate and jointly explore and incubate revolutionary beauty tech solutions. The challenge has established three tracks: Phygital Consumer Beauty Tech, Operation 4.0 Beauty Tech and Future Science, which focus on the three priorities of beauty tech innovation: consumer experience, supply chain operation, and future product with new form, new function and new experience. The objective is to put out commercial applications within one year at the earliest in order to quickly reach the Chinese consumer market and looking forward to promote these innovations to other markets around the world.

L’Oréal China will integrate resources and expertise from most of the Group’s departments and more than ten brands. Two winning startups will be chosen from each priority track. With scale serving as its foundation and commercialization as the goal, for this event, L’Oréal China will work together with these winners provide a comprehensive array of tailor-made support solutions that cover the areas of market insights, product positioning, marketing strategies, patent deployment, media communication, and incubation budgets as they work on the proof of concept (POC) in order to speed up the project incubation and commercialization process and to help the project scale up more quickly. The partners that emerge victorious in the challenge will also have the opportunity to obtain further strategic investment from L’Oréal on the basis of equal negotiation between both parties.

Registration for the challenge opens on Jun 5, 2020. There are five stages to the challenge:

• Stage I: Online registration (deadline: Jul 3)

• Stage II: Initial screening (July 6-July 31) – The initial judging panel will access all the qualified programs form signups. A total of 30 partners will be selected for the challenge (10 partners from each category)

• Stage III: Preparing for the challenge (August 3- August 28) – Setting up of respective startup workshops, support for participants’ preparation through field visits, mentoring by brand/Group representatives, etc.

• Stage IV: Stepping up to the plate (September) – Real-life final roadshow, with three winning startups in each category chosen by the Group’s internal judging panel together with industry experts. Top two winning startups from each category will earn the support of their concept (POC) and incubation

• Stage VI: POC and incubation(After October) – Co-creation with winning programs

In the post-COVID-19 era, the boosting of consumption is an important prerequisite for economic recovery and improvements in the people’s livelihoods. In light of this, technological innovation serves as the catalyst that promotes the ‘upgrade’ of consumption and which helps to unleash potential consumption. As the main source of new technology, tech startups play an important role. Today, where “an individual has a thousand faces”, consumer demand in a phygital world -- the dimension where the virtual and real worlds intersect -- is extremely individual, diverse and complex, and the growth of this trend continues to accelerate. Consumers are not seeking individual products as much as they are looking for complete solutions, from the product to service and experience. Consumers are also coming to expect a targeted and efficient experience and instant gratification. More than ever, these call for innovations in solution development, supply operations, and user experience design.

“In the hope that L’Oréal and tech startups can work together to break down boundaries and to facilitate greater integration across boundaries as well as to explore new application scenarios and the vast array of market opportunities in the field of beauty”. Says Fabrice Megarbane, President and CEO of L’Oréal China: “ ‘BIG BANG Beauty Tech Startup Challenge’ is our first step to build a beauty tech ecosystem in China, and the latest practical of our new strategy in china, the ‘HUGE Strategy’, which is centered on the core concepts of co-creation, inclusiveness, and the ecosystem. We are confident that when in a new round of beauty tech ‘explodes’ China will surely become the leader.”

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