Coty searches for AI innovations with Digital Accelerator Program

Coty has announced a new program that will allow technology start-ups to share their latest innovations at the New York City-based company's Quarterly Digital Accelerator Summit. This opportunity will allow the winner to work with its brand portfolio, and focus on a series of capabilities, with the first being Artificial Intelligence. Start-ups who are interested can submit their best AI-pitch by selecting any of the company's brands by March 12. Submissions should:

  • Provide a concise description of what makes the start-up unique in AI;

  • Select a Coty brand and demonstrate how it will benefit from the technology; and

  • Describe the preferred partnership model to drive in-market trialing.

"At Coty, we're focused on transforming our digital capabilities across the organization, and the launch of the Digital Accelerator represented a key milestone in this transformation. I'm thrilled to take this initiative a step further by bringing external start-ups into the mix. Coty has a growing expertise in partnerships with a breadth of start-ups to drive growth across our brands. This includes our acquisitions of Beamly and ghd, partnership with Younique and new connections via our relationship with Zenith. Throughout Coty, we foster an "act like a start-up" culture, encouraging creativity, agility and quick action. We're excited about fostering deeper commercial relationships with start-ups aligned with our key priorities. AI is a foundational example of this," Jason Forbes, Coty's chief digital and media officer, said.

From there, the company will select eight start-ups based on projected growth impact on one more Coty brands, and present their ideas directly to the brand leaders at the summit on March 27 and 28 in London and New York City. There also will be a prize fund of up to $100,000, along with prizes of $10k to $50k awarded based on criteria fit. Other benefits include:

  • Strategic support from the digital team;

  • Priority access to brand executives worldwide;

  • Coty's domain expertise, with access to proprietary consumer research in the beauty and luxury industry; and

  • Stress testing the technology with a real brand challenge using budgets for initial pilots.

"Partnerships between Coty and emerging companies such as Beamly and Holition, which launched our first app free Augmented Reality (AR) experience exclusively for CoverGirl, is an indication of how we'd like to bring disruptive new approaches to the market in partnership with unique new players in AI, AR, voice and other rapidly growing technologies. We intend to foster these relationships and look forward to more examples like this coming out of our Digital Accelerator summits," Fred Gerantabee, Coty's VP of digital innovation, said.