Aveeno Opens Applications for 2022 Skin Health Startup Accelerator Pitch Competition

April 6, 2022

In its second year, the program will continue to provide the tools and resources for up-and-coming Black female-identifying entrepreneurs with a chance to win $100,000.

The Aveeno brand has announced its second year of the Aveeno Skin Health Startup Accelerator Pitch Competition in collaboration with ESSENCE.

Through this program, Aveeno recognizes the power of Black female-identifying entrepreneurs in offering new solutions for all skin and hair types. Dedicated to helping create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable skincare industry, the program's website provides Black female-identifying business owners with the education and resources to help grow their businesses.  

Aveeno is inviting up-and-coming Black female-identifying entrepreneurs with a product, brand, or technology that meets the skin or hair care needs of Black consumers to pitch themselves and their business. This year's Skin Health Startup Accelerator winner will receive $100,000 to help their business and a trip to ESSENCE Fest, a high-visibility forum where the winners will be recognized. The award will also include hands-on business guidance and mentorship from the best and brightest thought-leaders in everything from package design, marketing, accounting, and more.

In 2021, Aveeno awarded the Grand Prize to the Founder of Alodia Hair Care, Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris, and Runner-Up Prize to the Founder of Look Good Live Well, Ariane Turner. Both women received funding to grow their businesses, ongoing mentorship, and a feature in ShopEssence – ESSENCE's e-commerce portal. These two beauty entrepreneurs have applied the resources offered by the competition leading Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris Founder of Alodia Hair Care to have her biggest year ever, doubling revenue year-over-year. Ariane Turner Founder of Look Good Live Well used the resources to support the ecosystem of Black-women owned businesses by investing in a gentle rebrand. This allowed Ariane to dig deeper into her customer psychographics to better connect with her customers. She was also able to use the funds to begin the process of creating a proprietary blend of ingredients, uniquely designed to address the specific needs of melanin-rich skin.

"As a brand that started from humble beginnings, like many others before us, we feel an innate responsibility to pay forward the support and guidance we received along the way to these inspiring Black women entrepreneurs who are working so hard to break into the industry," says Steve Reis, Senior Brand Manager of Aveeno, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc, in a news release.  "Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris and Ariane Turner are savvy leaders with a clear vision for the type of change they want to drive, and we're humbled to be helping them pursue their ambitions. We're fortunate that ESSENCE shares this vision with us and have high hopes for year two of the Skin Health Startup Accelerator program's enduring commitment to creating equitable opportunities in the skincare industry."

To enter, follow the steps by submitting directly on the entry page:

  • Hit the ENTER NOW button and fill out the form. Entries close at 11:59 PM EST on April 30, 2022.
  • Tell us your WHY. Create a 1-2-minute video introducing yourself, your business, and WHY you got started. Explain how natural ingredients play a key role in your product(s) and your business. Lean into modern video storytelling and provide a vertical video if you'd prefer.
  • Upload your video, review required information, and submit!

"ESSENCE is the place 31 million Black women unapologetically call home, 'in the skin they are in.' Another year of collaboration with Aveeno on the Skin Health Startup Accelerator Pitch Competition is demonstration of the equitable attention necessary to service Black skin health," says ESSENCE CEO Caroline Wanga. "At ESSENCE, we believe that economic inclusion is a human right. We are committed to ensuring that we build Black entrepreneurial growth and generational wealth through supporting Black businesses with purpose, access, capital, and expertise through our New Voices Fund and Foundation, in addition to our comprehensive portfolio of programs and products. I am cheerfully anticipating how this continued partnership will elevate the next generation of Black-owned skin health 

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