Sephora Accelerate is dedicated to building a community of innovative female founders in beauty. The 6+ months-long program begins with a one-week bootcamp where founders acquire the necessary skills to create a successful business. Together, you learn from beauty mentors and seasoned entrepreneurs and prepare for a final Demo Day in the fall.
Apply Here (2020 Cohort)
Deadline: Oct 31st, 2019
Accelerate begins with a week devoted to working on your business. Receive help structuring your business model, branding, marketing and growth plan, and funding strategy in the beauty industry.
Tackle business challenges and grow through one-on-one mentoring from beauty industry and Sephora leaders.
In addition to two all-expense paid trips to San Francisco for program events, you will receive a monetary grant and may be eligible for additional funding.
Present your company to industry experts, investors, and senior level Sephora leaders on Demo Day.
New cohort announced
New cohort announced,
San Francisco, CA
Bootcamp Week, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
Demo Day, San Francisco, CA
mentor hours provided
“Even in the beauty industry, where most customers are women, female founders are still underrepresented. We see a unique opportunity to draw from our history of working with entrepreneurs to build a supportive community for early-stage female founders.”
“One of the biggest challenges as a woman entrepreneur is accessing the networks that help male founders succeed. We've worked hard to fill that gap by surrounding ourselves with thoughtful and ambitious female entrepreneurs and I'm excited to continue doing so with Sephora Accelerate.”
“Business is the driving force for helping us create a better world. The better I perform, the higher the impact. What better motivation is there?”
In the United States, Accelerate holds an open application process for technology and sustainability businesses relevant to the beauty industry, and an invite-only process for merchandise (make-up, skincare, fragrance, wellness, fragrance, hair, and accessory) product brands. Outside of the United States, it’s an open application process for all business categories (technology, sustainability, and product brands). To date, Accelerate has accepted applications from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, Australia, Middle East, Russia, and throughout Europe.
Please check our website on October 1st for application information.
Eligible businesses must be founded or co-founded by a woman (at least 18 years old) and headquartered in countries where Sephora operates—United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, China, Middle East, Russia, and throughout Europe.
Your company must be an early stage business not yet distributed widely by others. Our interest is to help those who have the most to gain from what Accelerate offers, which means businesses with more than an idea (at least a lab sample or prototype), but probably not much real revenue yet.
You are an entrepreneur who is passionate about beauty, social good, and building social impact <link to “What is Social Impact” FAQ> into your business. We believe that doing good is also good business.
If selected, you must be able to attend the Accelerate Bootcamp and Demo Day events in San Francisco, California.
There are a variety of criteria our team uses to make the final selection. Some of the most important are:
Vision: Do you have the passion needed to make your business successful?
Innovation: Are you solving a specific need that is not yet served by an existing company?
Product: Do you have a working prototype that has been iterated on at least once to incorporate user feedback?
Plan: Do you have a business model or a strategy to grow your company?
Social Impact: Are you eager to incorporate Social Impact into your business mission (if you haven’t already)?
While not a firm requirement at the time of application, founders who go through Sephora Accelerate are expected to commit to incorporating social impact into their business mission, i.e. sourcing locally, adopting environmentally friendly practices, or otherwise creating positive impact in their community.
Cathy Han, 42 Technologies
Ming Zhao, PROVEN
Nelly Pitt, BeautyMix
Erika Milczek, Curie Co
Kylee Guenther, Spectalite
Cat Chen, Skylar
KJ Miller, Mented Cosmetics
Brandi Leifso, Evelyn Iona Cosmetics
Iliana Loza, Ahal
Heather Ridout, Okira
Anju Rupal, Abhati Suisse
Laure Bouguen, Ho Karan
Shuting Hu, CEO, Acaderma
Adriana Oyevides, Aloe Vida
Barb Stegemann, The 7 Virtues
Dana Rae Ashburn, ABLE Cosmetics
Jihan Thompson, Swivel Beauty
Kirsty Williams, DashHound
Marta Cros, The Ritualist / APTO
Mary Futher, Kaia Naturals
Pollini Jorio, Brandlovers
Sara Panton, Vitruvi
Yve-Car Momperousse, Kreyol Essence
Danielle Cohen-Shohet, Glossgenius
Karissa Bodnar, Thrive Causemetics
Leila Janah, LXMI
Lisa Mattam, Sahajan
Naa-Sakle Akuete, Eu’Genia Shea
Suzanne LeRoux, One Love Organics
Candace Mitchell, Myavana
Carolina Grove, Stylerz
Even in the beauty industry, where most customers are women, female founders are still underrepresented. We saw a unique opportunity to draw from our history of working with beauty entrepreneurs to build a supportive community for women who are in the early stages of developing their businesses.
Accelerate is a key initiative of a larger program called Sephora Stands, which aims to use Sephora’s strengths for even greater good in our communities. We hope to build an ecosystem of support for more than 50 women-led beauty businesses by the end of 2020.
Technically speaking it’s defined as, “Social: of or relating to society.” and “Impact: to have a strong effect on someone or something.” At Sephora, we are committed to using our strengths to make the world a more beautiful place. Sephora Accelerate represents one of our efforts to incorporate social impact in our business model.
Each of our founders will be expected to commit to pursuing social impact in some way through their work. A business could reflect its commitment to social impact through environmentally-friendly actions, sourcing raw materials sustainably, donating a portion of proceeds to charity, or any number of other ways.
A beauty business could create a cosmetic product—make-up, skincare, haircare, wellness, or fragrance—or a new beauty accessory. But a beauty business could also be about a new technology that takes an innovative approach to solving a beauty-related challenge or a new service model that will improve the customer experience. For sustainability-related beauty businesses an example might be a new packaging solution or compostable cellophane discovery. We’re looking for fresh ideas and innovative approaches to beauty.
Unfortunately, only one founder per business may participate. In cases where there are two female co-founders, we recommend the CEO co-founder join us. However, we’ll entertain the idea if a compelling case can be made for a co-founder with a different role to join us.
Bootcamp—Entrepreneurs receive in-depth instruction and feedback through an intensive week-long bootcamp in San Francisco with expert guidance from Sephora and program partners.
Mentorship—Entrepreneurs receive one-on-one mentorship from specially selected Sephora leaders, in addition to networking opportunities with industry experts and feedback on their Demo Day presentations.
Grants and funding—In addition to two all-expense paid trips for program events, entrepreneurs will receive a monetary grant and may be eligible for additional loans.
We’ll also endeavor to secure exposure for the program via our media partnerships and through our social media channels.
At Demo Day, each Accelerate entrepreneur will present her company to industry experts, investors, and senior leaders within Sephora. Helpful feedback, new connections, and congratulations are shared in a celebratory gathering after the presentations conclude.
We can’t offer any guarantees on this, however, participants will have a chance to pitch directly to senior leaders from Sephora’s Merchandising and Innovation teams as part of the Demo Day.
Sign up to receive periodic Sephora Stands updates, along with stories of inspiration and transformation.