Wanted: Future Brains of BeautyTech

BY Lauren BurgessFebruary 9, 2020

Huckletree Accelerator BeautyTech

Future brains of BeautyTech, we want you.

We’re looking for the next generation of creators and disruptors taking on the beauty industry to join the seventh cohort of the Alpha Programme, our accelerator for pre-seed businesses. We want founders who are creating innovative products, targeting underlooked markets, using software to enhance retail experiences and to personalise skincare – and beyond.


We’re a generation of Beauty Pie subscribers. We swipe for our favourite manicurists on Treatwell, book on-demand masseuses on Urban and WhatsApp recommendations for our favourite Ruuby therapists. Beauty and tech go hand in hand – and it’s big business.

This isn’t a niche market. A study by Orbis predicted the global cosmetics market to hit $805.1 billion by 2023. In 2018, L’Oreal announced they no longer wanted to be ‘the number one beauty firm in the world’, but the ‘number one beauty tech company.”

Talk about a bold indication of the future ahead…


BeautyTech’s scope for transformation is varied. We’re not narrowing our cohort down to product-centric companies – here are just some of the sectors you might be innovating:

  • Product realisation: augmented reality is revolutionising the product design process, allowing businesses to efficiently model and simulate revolutionary products. There’s a strong case for sustainability here, too. Less flawed products making it to market, less plastic waste being brought into the world.
  • Personalisation: it’s 2020. We’re living in a P.F. (post-Fenty) world. Consumers expect more than the standard 20 shades of beige on a shelf, and AI is opening the door to everything from custom foundation to bespoke acne treatment.
  • Virtual Makeup: we’ve all tried the (slightly dodgy) Instagram filters, but augmented reality is being rapidly adopted by big brands, allowing consumers to test out the latest beauty trends easily and remotely.
  • Product performance tracking: digital skin diagnostics and evaluation use algorithms to accurately assess the impact of products on different skin types. More data, less guesswork, more effective treatments.
  • Removing Friction: Beautytech isn’t just about blowing minds – it’s about streamlining inefficiencies and processes in the retail process. Think Birchbox’s monthly subscription that’s tailored to your interests and posted straight to your door.
  • Store of the Future: We live in an experience economy – and tech is key to reinventing IRL experiences for beauty brands. Think intelligent mirrors, Instagram ports and fragrance sampling via touchscreens and scented air…


Applications are now open and close on 18th March, with the programme kicking off on 31st March at Huckletree West. Our digital lifestyle hub, it’s the perfect setting for our first BeautyTech cohort as it brings together members disrupting the sector, including BeautyTech innovator, TONIC15. It’s also the setting for Felix Capital’s BeautyTech meetups with the likes of Glossier, The Inkey List and RadSwan, plus adult sex education classes with Alpha alumni and FemTech pioneers, HANX.


We believe all founders deserve equal access to funding. We’re committed to increasing the representation of underrepresented founders at Huckletree, and within the wider startup ecosystem. We are looking for applications from businesses with at least one founder from an underrepresented background (female, BAME, LBGTQ+ and beyond).

Apply now – and spread the word.


Lauren Burgess

Platform Manager