PARIS — Beiersdorf AG is the latest company to jump on the beauty accelerator bandwagon, with the upcoming launch of its program focused on start-ups based in South Korea.
For the project, Beiersdorf and WeWork have formed a partnership in the country, for which the shared workspace giant will facilitate Beiersdorf’s access to the start-up ecosystem there. The accelerator is to be located in Seoul’s Hongdae District, where Hongik University’s cool kids hang out. The German company’s Nivea brand sponsors the hub.
Big beauty companies, which rarely start new brands from scratch, these days can find their mature brands facing stiff competition from upstarts, often spawned in the digital realm. So they have been quick on the uptake to create accelerator programs, fostering nascent brands that offer them key learnings and tools to enrich know-how, sometimes paving the way for acquisitions.
L’Occitane in September said it had opened a start-up incubator in Marseille, France, with the studio focusing on cosmetics and well-being. Puig’s recently launched collaborative platform, called Puig Futures, is three-pronged — involved in developing new “disruptive” business models, partnerships with companies and taking minority stakes in third-party enterprises related to the fragrance category, for instance.
Generally, companies create accelerators in their home markets,