Sephora Cohort @ Female Beauty Founders

Sephora Accelerate, building an ecosystem for female founders in beauty, has opened applications for its 6-month long 2020 cohort program. Participants will receive mentorship, grants, and the opportunity to pitch to Sephora executives. Learn more below!

About Sephora Accelerate:

Sephora Accelerate is dedicated to building a community of innovative female founders in beauty. Even in the beauty industry, where most customers are women, female founders are still underrepresented. We saw a unique opportunity to draw from our history of working with beauty entrepreneurs to build a supportive community for women who are in the early stages of developing their businesses.

Accelerate is a key initiative of a larger program called Sephora Stands, which aims to use Sephora’s strengths for even greater good in our communities. We hope to build an ecosystem of support for more than 50 women-led beauty businesses by the end of 2020.

The 6+ months-long program begins with a one-week bootcamp where founders acquire the necessary skills to create a successful business. Together, you learn from beauty mentors and seasoned entrepreneurs and prepare for a final Demo Day in the fall.

The Opportunity:

Applications have opened to participate in the 2020 Sephora Accelerate cohort. The cohort is designed to accelerate your journey as a transformational female founder in the beauty industry. Sessions will guide founders through:

  • Bootcamp: Accelerate begins with a week devoted to working on your business. Receive help structuring your business model, branding, marketing and growth plan, and funding strategy in the beauty industry.

  • Mentorship: Tackle business challenges and grow through one-on-one mentoring from beauty industry and Sephora leaders.

  • Grants and funding: In addition to two all-expense paid trips to San Francisco for program events, you will receive a monetary grant and may be eligible for additional funding.

  • Demo Day: Present your company to industry experts, investors, and senior level Sephora leaders on Demo Day.


Eligible businesses must be founded or co-founded by a woman (at least 18 years old) and headquartered in countries where Sephora operates—United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, China, Middle East, Russia, and throughout Europe.

Your company must be an early stage business not yet distributed widely by others. Our interest is to help those who have the most to gain from what Accelerate offers, which means businesses with more than an idea (at least a lab sample or prototype), but probably not much real revenue yet.

You are an entrepreneur who is passionate about beauty, social good, and building social impact into your business. We believe that doing good is also good business.

If selected, you must be able to attend the Accelerate Bootcamp and Demo Day events in San Francisco, California.

In the United States, Accelerate holds an open application process for technology and sustainability businesses relevant to the beauty industry, and an invite-only process for merchandise (make-up, skincare, fragrance, wellness, fragrance, hair, and accessory) product brands. Outside of the United States, it’s an open application process for all business categories (technology, sustainability, and product brands). To date, Accelerate has accepted applications from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China, Australia, Middle East, Russia, and throughout Europe.

Deadline to Apply: October 31


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Alex Gordon