Coty announces winners of Digital Accelerator start-up program

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Coty announces winners
of Digital Accelerator
start-up program
June 11, 2018
Nudest, Skingenie and Glamtech awarded for Best Pitches on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Personalization Services
New York – June 11th, 2018 – As part of its Digital Accelerator Program, Coty has chosen three technology start-ups who will work with the global leader in beauty to develop artificial intelligence applications, aimed at driving more seamless shopper experiences.
After two full days of pitches and presentations across a wide roster of AI-focused start-ups, the Grand Prize of Coty’s Digital Accelerator Start-Up Program was awarded to Nudest (http://nudest.co) for its custom skin tone matching technology. The two other winners were: Skingenie (http://helloskingenie.com), for its DNA-based personalization of skincare and healthcare products; and Glamtech (www.glamtech.co), which offers customers real-time skin analysis, skincare product recommendations and skin performance tracking.
Coty’s Digital Accelerator Start-Up Program and Summit were developed to create a forum for technology start-ups to share their solutions with Coty leadership across its diverse brand portfolio, with a focus on fostering pilot opportunities and initiatives. The start-up program focuses on a series of capabilities, with AI being the key theme at the debut event.
A total of 23 start-ups, selected by Coty and their media agency of record Zenith, submitted AI pitches related to Coty’s 70+ brands. The start-ups presented how their chosen Coty brand would benefit from the particular AI application/technology, outlining their preferred partnership model to drive in-market trialling, and providing clear evaluation metrics against a defined brand challenge.
Nudest’s highly engaging presentation of their skin-tone-matching technology impressed over 250+ Coty digital and marketing leaders who watched the 10-minute presentations from New York and London and via webcast globally. Nudest’s patented system for skin tone detection caters to the 84% of beauty buyers for whom the color ‘nude’ is either too light or too dark. Nudest’s algorithm accounts for skin undertones as well an individual’s tanning ability across the seasons to assign a score on their Nudemeter. This unlocks huge potential for personalized product recommendations and supports Coty’s commitment to celebrate and liberate the diversity of consumers’ beauty.
The winners will all receive cash prizes and strategic support from Coty’s Digital team; priority access to Coty brand executives worldwide; Coty’s domain expertise, including access to proprietary consumer research in the beauty and luxury industry; and stress testing of their technology with established brand challenges.
Jason Forbes, Coty’s Chief Digital and Media Officer, said: “Creating real-world solutions to address unmet consumer needs is a key approach of how we are driving business growth and Coty’s leadership in the industry. Services are the new products, and one-on-one personalization powered-by artificial intelligence is and will continue to be a core driver of better experiences for consumers.”
Fred Gerantabee, Coty’s VP of Digital Innovation, added: “There are so many great emerging companies that are honing in on one or two major needs, and finding very focused solutions  in AI, skin analysis, color and DNA based personalization, to name a few. As a consumer-focused organization, addressing unmet needs is not just about starting from scratch but bringing these solutions to market quickly and beautifully; that requires seeking those in the market who are doing it better than anyone else and creating a strong working partnership that can scale and grow.”
Benoit Cacheux, Zenith’s Global Head of Digital & Innovation, said: “We were delighted to partner with Coty to identify AI start-ups that could help drive growth for their brands. Zenith is a pioneer in AI applications and in other areas of communications innovation, and we are looking forward to working with Coty on future Digital Accelerator Start-Up Programs.”
Coty launched the Digital Accelerator in 2017 to connect Coty colleagues to external digital capabilities and start-ups, accelerating the development of Coty’s digital capabilities. This Digital Accelerator Summit is part of the 2018 series that will provide a broader set of innovative start-ups a forum to connect directly with Coty’s colleagues and brands through the lens of a specific capability. Upcoming themes will likely include AR, voice and 3D printing.
About Coty Inc.
Coty is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with approximately $9 billion in pro forma revenue,  an iconic portfolio of brands and  a purpose to celebrate and liberate the diversity of consumers’ beauty. We believe the beauty of humanity lies in the individuality of its people; beauty is at its best when authentic; and beauty should make you feel happy, never sad. As  the global leader in fragrance, a strong number two in professional salon hair color & styling, and number three in color cosmetics, Coty operates three divisions: Consumer Beauty, which is focused on mass color cosmetics, mass retail hair coloring and styling products, body care and mass fragrances with brands such as COVERGIRL, Max Factor and Rimmel; Luxury, which is focused on prestige fragrances and skincare with brands such as Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss, Gucci and philosophy; and Professional Beauty, which is focused on servicing salon owners and professionals in both hair and nail, with brands such as Wella Professionals, Sebastian Professional, OPI and ghd. Coty has over 20,000 colleagues globally and its products are sold in over 150 countries. Coty and its brands are committed to a range of social causes as well as seeking to minimize its impact on the environment.
For additional information about Coty Inc., please visit www.coty.com.
Jennifer Friedman