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Updated: Meet the 2023 NEXT Grant Cohort

Published September 14, 2023
Published September 14, 2023

As a self-funded start-up, we understand bootstrapping and limited budgets. We also know the power of access. From our end, live events are expensive propositions, but we don't feel it's right to have an event focused on the future of beauty when attending might be financially out of reach to the industry's future leaders. With the support of Brandon Ford, Chief Accelerator Director, Lubrizol Life Science, we are happy to extend financial support to eight founders.

We had 125 founders across the spectrum of beauty and wellness complete entries for the 2023 NEXT Grant program. Reviewing them was inspirational and frustrating because so many founders were worthy, and I wish we didn't have to limit it to eight entrepreneurs. So, if you have a budget and want to sponsor an entrepreneur, BeautyMatter will do our part to bring more of these founders to Los Angeles for the NEXT Summit and Awards: The Future of Beauty.

Sandra Lilia Velasquez, CEO and founder, Nopalera, and 2022 NEXT Grant Recipient, said of the program, "One of the greatest assets a founder can have is a network. BeautyMatter facilitates this through their NEXT Grant Program, which puts founders in a room with key industry players."

Meet the 2023 NEXT Grant Recipients:

Simedar Jackson, Of Other Worlds: Consciously developed by a licensed aesthetician and beauty editor who created a universe of versatile skin solutions that sit at the intersection of science-forward innovation and community creation.

Brianna Arps, Moodeaux: Made for the unapologetically outspoken rebel inside us all grounded in the belief that self-expression is the best self-care. Ditching tradition and introducing a new standard of longer-lasting, skin-nurturing, earth-friendly scents.

Leona Dondi, Uzima: A brand that embodies the essence of innovation, curiosity, and problem-solving, creating products to serve the unique hair and skincare needs of Black women, merging scientific rigor with nature's wisdom.

Amadou Doumbia, Wuli: An Australian-made gender-neutral range of all-natural and vegan hair styling products designed for lazy-proof daily maintenance hydrating and conditioning the most sensitive of hair types to ensure they're always at peak performance.

Ericka Rodriguez, Axiology: A conscious color brand that is plastic-free with vegan formulations that are made with 10 or less naturally derived ingredients. The business launched on Etsy in 2014 and graduated to the shelves of Credo and Detox Market.

Lianne Dobson, Gemini Naturals: Tackling the white space between textured haircare and healthy hair color by launching a plant-based temporary hair color that defines curls and deposits color all in one step without damage or commitment.

Keta Burke-Williams, Ourside: A brand created for the free thinkers, non-conformers, and eternal dreamers who aren’t currently reflected in the luxury fragrance landscape. Ourside is building a movement tapping into our most powerful sense—scent. 

Eilidh Smith, Skin Work: Founded in 2018 as a Skincare Studio in London offering zero-downtime treatments. As a self-funded service business, Eilidh was hit hard during COVID but has been resilient, launching a 3-SKU product range.

Irene Legaspi, Plantas Medicinas: Leveraging two decades as a hairstylist and her personal healing journey that lead Legaspi to become a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Organic Environmental Cosmetic Formulator creating a brand that is an extension of holistic wellness.

Roger Dupé, Melyon: Is a skincare brand made with people of color in mind, focusing on conditions common among darker skin tones while still being suitable for most skin types. With roots in West Africa, the Scandinavian lifestyle brand combines the best from nature and science, to create safe and ethical products with proven results.

Stay tuned. While we could not bring everyone, we have some ideas in the works to support everyone who submitted for a grant to the NEXT Summit with access, information, and community.


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