L’Oréal USA has announced the three winners of its 2019 Women in Digital NEXT Generation Awards which celebrate female leaders who are building technologies that have the potential to revolutionise the beauty industry.

The winners, who will receive US$25,000 each in grant funding, are:

  • Mandi Nyambi and Lanya Olmsted, the co-founders of Baalm (an online community of beauty brands, skincare professionals and consumers which matches users to the right products for their skincare issues).
  • Lisha Li, the founder of Rosebud AI (a technology that lets users virtually try-on makeup, hairstyles and clothes from any social media photo).
  • Alyssa Min and Sunny Kim, the co-founders of Seknd (a smart beauty discovery platform for personalised product recommendations that brings the “best of retail to digital”).

In addition to receiving $25,000 grants, the winners will take part in L’Oréal’s 2019 Women in Digital program presented in partnership with Alice, an AI-powered platform for entrepreneurs. They have also been invited to L’Oréal’s New York headquarters to meet with executives and attend on-site events.

The competition, which was “an open call to all women leaders who are inventing and building new technologies and interfaces, beauty services, communities and digitally native brands that address the needs of the modern beauty consumer”, attracted over 450 nominations.

Rachel Weiss, VP of Strategic Growth and Open Innovation at L’Oréal, said narrowing the entries down to the winning three was “a tremendous challenge”.

“We saw so many innovative early-stage companies founded by women whom I expect will all have an impact on the future of this industry,” she said.

“Although the landscape has changed quite a bit in the past seven years [since the Awards’ inception] we know there are still challenges for female founders.

“We are really honoured to have the opportunity to help these entrepreneurs kick-start their businesses.”

For more news and updates, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.