L' Oreal Supports Women in Digital with up to $100.000 in Grants
This week cosmetics giant L'Oreal entered the women in tech arena with The Next Lab and also The Next Generation Awards. The Next Lab: Women in Digital - CEO's and founders, can apply for L'Oréal's New Experimental Testing Fund if they are building a venture that's NEXT in digital innovation. Grants range from $10,000 till $100,000.
What is The NEXT Lab?
The NEXT Lab focuses on providing corporate grants to women led and co-led companies to develop innovative technology initiatives in partnership with L'Oréal USA. The NEXT Lab stands for New Experimental Testing Fund.The Brands of L'Oreal are numerous, including Redken, Shu Uemura, Vichy, Garnier, Lancome, Stellsa McCartney, Helena Rubinstein and Ralph Lauren, but many many more.
The NEXT Lab was established in 2011 as a separate corporate media fund that invests in the latest digital technologies, digital pilot programs, incubation programs and large-scale corporate sponsorships. L'Oréal will be allocating a percentage of the fund to nurture and support female owned and co-owned technology companies. They are primarily interested in providing partnership opportunities to early-stage technology companies to provide women with the opportunities they need to scale and experiment so that they can grow quickly.
They do this by providing mentorship and guidance for our NEXT LAB partners where we can blend their company vision with the flavor of L'Oréal USA's brands. They are looking to invest mostly in Seed and Series A opportunities that meet their core strategic objectives meeting the needs of the beauty business. These include content, mobile, e-commerce, local/mapping and retail.
What kinds of companies are eligible?
The NEXT Lab is seeking opportunities to work with technology-driven companies led or co-led by women in a CEO, President or equivalent function. These companies should provide unique solutions to our business challenges. Ideally, they seek experienced entrepreneurs but are open to receiving applications with a clear vision and the ability to execute.
Does the NEXT Lab Make Strategic Investments?
No. The goal of the Lab is provide support and promotion for women entrepreneurs. The goal is to provide value to early-stage Lab partners providing them value in the early life of the company.
L'Oréal is a large global company that may actively seek out some of these companies for a M&A approach, but this is not the mission of the NEXT Lab.
How much money can you apply for promotional grants?
They almost exclusively focus on early-stage investments that are looking for opportunities that range from anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 dollars. Investment ranges over the life of the partnership depending on the scope and scale of the project.
How do you apply?
They accept business plans from everyone who meets our requirements above. They place higher priority on deals that are referred or endorsed by people that they know and trust – namely our advisors, entrepreneurs, partners and friends.
The advisory board of The NEXT Lab has some great role models, including Shaherose Charania of our partner Women 2.0, Katie Rae of Techstars and Karin Klein of Bloomberg.
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