- #FORWARDBEAUTYChallenge honours highly innovative cosmetic brands and technologies furthering the future of the beauty market
- Ten finalists invited to pitch in Düsseldorf
- Prestigious jury votes for beautyself and Ave+Edam
- Tina Müller, Douglas Group CEO: “Although our expectations were very high, this year’s finalists all managed to exceed them. The Challenge 2019 follows on seamlessly from last year’s impressive success. I am delighted that we are helping shape the future of the beauty industry by promoting promising start-ups”.
Düsseldorf, 2 December 2019. Douglas, one of Europe’s leading premium beauty retailers, announces the winners of the second #FORWARDBEAUTYChallenge: beautyself and Ave+Edam.
The #FORWARDBEAUTYChallenge gives up-and-coming start-ups in the cosmetics and technology sectors the opportunity to work together with Douglas. Following its successful premiere last year, the #FORWARDBEAUTYChallenge again took place at Douglas’ international headquarters in Düsseldorf on 29 November 2019.
This year’s winners: beautyself and Ave+Edam
beautyself offers a unique curation platform that finds individual solutions in the jungle of skincare products. It focuses on people who share their skincare routine with the community.
Ave+Edam stands for personalised skincare: clean, vegan, made in Germany. The products are based on artificial intelligence and smart algorithms that not only take aspects such as skin texture, lifestyle and seasonality into account, but also environmental factors such as air pollution and the UV index.
“Congratulations to beautyself! We particularly liked the community spirit of this beauty start-up. And with Ave+Edam, we will again expand our range to include innovative and, above all, personalised skincare, and underpin our pledge of always offering a unique shopping experience. We look forward to working with the award winners”, says Tina Müller, Douglas Group CEO.
Ten finalists pitched their start-up ideas to a prestigious line-up of judges
A large number of international start-ups submitted their ideas to the competition. Ten finalists were shortlisted to be voted upon by the top-class jury. Tina Müller, CEO Douglas Group, was joined by Dr. Alexander Dibelius, Managing Partner of CVC Capital Partners, Vanessa Stützle, EVP E-Commerce & CRM at Douglas, Frank Dopheide, former Managing Director of the Handelsblatt Media Group, Beate Fastrich, Business Angel and Early Stage Investor, and Lea-Sophie Cramer, founder of Amorelie, to judge the applicants’ ideas.
“It was an incredibly exciting and inspiring day that showed how contagious authentic entrepreneurial spirit can be. I am certain that we will hear a lot more about beautyself and Ave+Edam with Douglas at their side as a strong partner”, commented Lea-Sophie Cramer.
Cooperation with Douglas
Both competition winners can look forward to an intensive working relationship with Douglas that will allow them to unfold the full potential of their ideas in the long term. Cooperation will include ongoing support and guidance by Douglas, as well as distribution of the products via international online and offline channels.
Olivia and Sebastian Janus of beautyself are stunned: “Overwhelming! We can’t describe it any other way. We started out in June, and have now won the #FORWARDBEAUTYChallenge. First of all, we will digest all the new impressions, raise our glasses and celebrate! And tomorrow, we will directly turn our attention to the integration concept.”
Dr. Franziska Leonhardt of Ave+Edam, who previously worked in the Rocket Internet management team, says: “It is sensational to be able to work together with Douglas on this exciting retail project. It was an electrifying day, and I’m looking forward to the next steps.”
In addition to this year’s winners, Douglas will take up talks with another four of the ten finalists with regard to future collaboration. Among others, non gender specific made a very compelling impression with its “Everything Serum” and the product’s particularly sustainable packaging: users can plant the packaging and watch wild flowers grow from it. Another contender for the prize, London-based start-up Beauty Matching Engine, has taken individual online product recommendations to the next level.
Tina Müller was impressed: “Although our expectations were very high, this year’s finalists all managed to exceed them. The Challenge 2019 follows on seamlessly from last year’s impressive success. I am delighted that we are helping shape the future of the beauty industry by promoting promising start-ups. And I’m particularly pleased that both winning teams were founded by women.”
Douglas is one of the leading retailers in the European beauty industry with about 2,400 stores and fast-growing online shops in 26 European countries. In the financial year 2017/18, the company generated sales of 3.3 billion Euros. Every day, around 20,000 dedicated beauty experts strive to make their customers more beautiful and thus happier. Douglas has a portfolio of some 50,000 high-quality products of more than 650 brands in the areas of perfumery, decorative cosmetics and skincare as well as food supplements and accessories. With around 40 million Beauty Card holders, Douglas has one of the largest customer loyalty programs in Europe. Providing excellent consultation and a range of unique services, Douglas is one of the leading companies in the beauty market – both online and in stores.
Corporate Social Media & PR Officer
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