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L’Occitane Opens Start-up Incubator

Located in Marseille, France, the studio is focused on cosmetics and wellbeing.

PARIS — One more incubator has popped up on the beauty scene. L’Occitane Group said on Wednesday that it has inaugurated Obratori, a start-up studio in Marseille, France, focused on cosmetics and wellbeing.

“The L’Occitane Group has always been keen to initiate entrepreneurship and perpetual renewal, it’s in our DNA,” said Reinold Geiger, chief executive officer of the company, in a statement. “The creation of start-ups around the world is an economic revolution whose consequences will be seen very quickly. They have become the most important actors in the entrepreneurial system.”

Many beauty makers have been swift to open incubators as fledgling brands have been redefining the industry’s landscape, taking market share away from the behemoths. Among those in Europe to have launched start-up studios include L’Oréal, Sephora and Puig.

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Orbratori, which is located in the Cité de l’Innovation et des Savoirs Aix-Marseille, is to include 12 start-ups, and can hold up to 108 workstations.

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“The start-ups sought are those in cosmetics and wellbeing, as well as in the digitalization of solutions for retail and early growth, which require technical, financial, commercial, marketing or other support,” L’Occitane said in the statement. “The blend of product, digital and other start-ups is a must-have, according to Obratori, to jointly develop strong synergies of innovation and to explore new concepts, ideas, products, services and brands.”

The start-ups are to remain for up to 23 months in Obratori, where they can use the workspace and internal resources of mentors and other experts, plus L’Occitane’s ecosystem.

“These are tailor-made programs,” said Ingo Dauer, general manager of Obratori.

L’Occitane Group, a natural beauty maker and seller, has brands including L’Occitane en Provence, Melvita and Erborian. Its products are sold in more than 3,000 doors in 90 countries.

The company generated sales of 1.32 billion euros in the year ended March 31.