Coty Launches Digital Accelerator Start-Up Program

February 21, 2018

Announces up to $100,000 in Cash Prizes for Best Pitches on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Calls on Innovators and Creatives to Submit their Pitches by March 12

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 21, 2018-- Following the successful 2017 launch of Coty’s (NYSE:COTY) Digital Accelerator, Coty is announcing a new program for technology start-ups to share their latest innovations at Coty’s Quarterly Digital Accelerator Summit and earn the opportunity to work with Coty’s diverse brand portfolio. The new program will focus on a series of capabilities; the first is Artificial Intelligence.

Interested start-ups can submit their best Artificial Intelligence pitch by selecting any Coty brand from its 70+ portfolio by Monday, March 12th. Submissions should:

  • Provide a concise description of what makes the start-up unique in AI;
  • Select a specific Coty brand and demonstrate how that brand will benefit from the start up’s AI technology, metrics are a plus; and
  • Describe the preferred partnership model to drive in-market trialling.

Coty will then select up to eight start-ups, based on projected growth impact on one or multiple Coty brands, to present their ideas directly to Coty’s brand leaders at its Digital Accelerator Summit on March 27th and 28th in both London and New York City.

In parallel, there will be a prize fund of up to $100,000, with prizes of $10k - $50k awarded based on criteria fit (brand alignment, growth impact, scaling upside) for winning start-ups judged by a panel of Coty digital experts. Other benefits will include:

  • Strategic support from Coty’s Digital team;
  • Priority access to Coty brand executives worldwide;
  • Coty’s domain expertise, including access to proprietary consumer research in the beauty and luxury industry; and
  • Stress testing your technology with a real brand challenge using Coty budgets for initial pilots.

Jason Forbes, Coty’s Chief Digital and Media Officer, said, “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.”

Fred Gerantabee, Coty’s VP of Digital Innovation, added, “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.”

Coty launched the Digital Accelerator in 2017 to connect Coty colleagues to external digital capabilities and start-ups, accelerating the development of Coty’s digital capabilities. The March 27 & 28 Digital Accelerator Summit is part of the 2018 series that will provide a broader set of innovative start-ups a forum to connect directly with Coty’s colleagues and brands through the lens of a specific capability. Upcoming themes will likely include AR, voice and 3D printing.

For the March Summit, Coty is partnering with its media agency of record, Zenith. Benoit Cacheux, Global Digital & Innovation Lead, Zenith, said, “We’re really excited to work closely with Coty across this important strategic capability. Zenith and Publicis Media have been able to unlock a suite of great AI start-ups and we look forward to introducing more through this important initiative.”

For further submission details or to submit an AI pitch, please contact

About Coty Inc.

Coty is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with approximately $9 billion in pro forma revenue, an iconic portfolio of brands and a purpose to celebrate and liberate the diversity of consumers’ beauty. We believe the beauty of humanity lies in the individuality of its people; beauty is at its best when authentic; and beauty should make you feel happy, never sad. As the global leader in fragrance, a strong number two in professional salon hair color & styling, and number three in color cosmetics, Coty operates three divisions: Consumer Beauty, which is focused on mass color cosmetics, mass retail hair coloring and styling products, body care and mass fragrances with brands such as COVERGIRL, Max Factor and Rimmel; Luxury, which is focused on prestige fragrances and skincare with brands such as Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss, Gucci and philosophy; and Professional Beauty, which is focused on servicing salon owners and professionals in both hair and nail, with brands such as Wella Professionals, Sebastian Professional, OPI and ghd. Coty has over 20,000 colleagues globally and its products are sold in over 150 countries. Coty and its brands are committed to a range of social causes as well as seeking to minimize its impact on the environment.

For additional information about Coty Inc., please visit

Source: Coty Inc.

Coty Contacts:
Jennifer Friedman