NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2017 - L’Oréal USA today announces the three finalists of its Women in Digital NEXT Generation Awards: ShearShare co-founder and COO, Courtney Caldwell; HelloAva founder, Siqi Mou; and Shine co-founders, Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey. Entering its sixth year, the Women in Digital program supports female entrepreneurs working in digital fields by providing them with the opportunity to launch and scale new technologies in partnership with L’Oréal USA brands.
Each finalist will have the opportunity to present at L’Oréal USA’s Inspiration Day, the company’s annual internal marketing conference. This event brings together more than 500 marketing executives who represent L’Oréal’s portfolio of more than 30 brands. Following live presentations, all attendees will vote to award one entrepreneur a guaranteed pilot project within the company.
"For the past five years, L’Oréal has sought out women-led businesses poised to grow the beauty industry through cutting-edge technologies," says Rachel Weiss, Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at L’Oréal USA. "This year, our advisory board and strategic committee chose three companies with technology at the core that allow consumers to interact with beauty in new and exciting ways."
This year’s class includes:
- ShearShare - Courtney Caldwell, co-founder and COO: Courtney Caldwell is the co-founder and COO of beauty-tech startup, ShearShare, the first on-demand salon and barbershop space rental app. ShearShare gives licensed beauty and barbering professionals the freedom and flexibility to rent workspace by the day, while salon and barbershop owners make money on unused space.
- HelloAva - Siqi Mou, founder: Siqi Mou of HelloAva has been a beauty enthusiast since a young age, but was frustrated at the consumption of skincare products, as many consumers cannot correctly identify their skin types. To address this issue, she built an app that includes a chatbot, who answers questions directly via text and makes personalized product recommendations based on feedback.
- Shine - Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey, cofounders: Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey are the co-founders of Shine, a texting service making well-being more accessible through the power of daily messaging. By sending daily affirmations, they are doing their part to help women and men feel more confident, productive and happy.
The Women in Digital 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 a roster of women in a diverse range of industries including: Ann Miura-Ko, Co-Founding Partner of Floodgate; Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, General Electric; Carolyn Everson, Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook; Arianna Huffington, CEO, Thrive Global; Karin Klein, Founding Partner at Bloomberg Beta; Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient.
Since its inception in 2011, the L’Oréal Women in Digital program has created a network of more than 2,000 female-operated companies. Previous winners have experienced tremendous business growth and have collectively raised over $300 million in funding.
For more information on the program visit www.lorealwomenindigital.com and follow us on Twitter.
About L'Oreal USA
L'Oréal USA is the largest subsidiary of the L'Oréal Group, the world’s leading beauty company. L’Oréal USA manages a portfolio of more than 30 iconic beauty brands, including Garnier, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Kérastase, Lancôme, La Roche-Posay, L’Oréal Paris and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté. L’Oréal USA also serves as the international hub for the product development and marketing strategy for L’Oréal’s American brands: Baxter of California, Carol’s Daughter, Clarisonic, Dermablend, Essie, IT Cosmetics, Kiehl’s, Matrix, Maybelline New York, Mizani, NYX Professional Makeup, Pureology, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Redken, Softsheen-Carson, SkinCeuticals and Urban Decay. Generating more than $6 billion in sales annually, L’Oréal USA is committed to growth through sustainable innovation, driven by the company’s Sharing Beauty With All ambition for sustainable development across the Group’s value chain. The company is headquartered in New York City, employs more than 11,000 people, and operates administrative, research, manufacturing and distribution facilities across 14 states, including Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Washington. For more information, visit www.lorealusa.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @LOrealUSA.