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Beiersdorf Accelerator Unveils First Korean Start-up Crop

Called Nivea Accelerator NX, the incubator will work with five beauty companies chosen out of more than 200 contenders.

PARIS — Beiersdorf AG’s accelerator program, called Nivea Accelerator NX, has unveiled its first pick of Korean beauty start-ups.

“Trustful partnerships have been a key success factor at Beiersdorf for more than 135 years. With NX, we can provide global opportunities for the first top five start-ups and bring innovative trends and insights from the pioneering beauty market to Beiersdorf,” said Ralph Gusko, executive board member for Asia Pacific at Beiersdorf.

Beiersdorf and other multinationals, including L’Oréal, Unilever, Puig and L’Occitane, have recently launched beauty incubators to help enrich their know-how in the staunchly competitive, fast-changing business landscape.

The NX Accelerator, based in Seoul, evaluated more than 200 beauty start-ups in South Korea, focusing on business potential, concept innovation and team capabilities. Ten finalists presented their projects at an event held by Beiersdorf and WeWork Korea.

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Beiersdorf executives and external experts serving as judges chose:

  • Unpa, a beauty platform that leverages big data for product development;
  • Reziena, which is a beauty device using integral field unit technology for personalized anti-age treatment;
  • Limese, which brings Korean beauty brands to India;
  • Glowhill, an indie skin-care brand, and
  • Panda, an indie brand producing handmade and fresh skin-care products.

“For the next year, NX will provide thorough support to the companies to maximize their potential throughout the whole value chain,” said Endrik Hasemann, general manager of Beiersdorf Korea. “Exclusive benefits will include a strategic partnership agreement, seed investment, mentorship from Beiersdorf senior executives, as well as free office space. This space will be located at the WeWork Seoul Hongdae branch, a specially designed floor for collaboration between the startups and the NX team.”

Hamburg, Germany-based Beiersdorf generated sales of 7.2 billion euros in 2018. Its brand Nivea is billed to be the world’s largest in skin care.