L’Oréal USA Women in Digital, a program created to support and promote female entrepreneurship in technology, announced the three finalists of its fifth annual Next Generation Awards. They are Blavity founder, Morgan DeBaun; Pixels.IO founder, Grace Woo; and Viddyad founder and chief executive officer, Grainne Barron.
Each finalist will have the opportunity to present at L’Oréal USA’s internal marketing conference, Inspiration Day, on Friday, Sept. 16 to more than 450 marketing executives who represent all of L’Oréal USA’s brands. Following live presentations, all attending executives will vote to award one entrepreneur the chance to pilot her technology within the company.
The finalists were chosen based on their abilities to scale and solve for need gaps among L’Oréal brands and span a diverse range of capabilities. For example, DeBaun at Blavity helps create content for Black Millennials who aren’t represented in mainstream culture. Woo, founder of VRCodes and Pixels.IO, works to bring VRCodes to the public. At Viddyad, Barron enables businesses and brands to create, edit, publish and distribute online videos in minutes.
Celebrating its fifth year, the L’Oréal USA Women in Digital program has fed over 2,000 women-operated companies into the L’Oréal innovation pipeline. Additionally, the company is currently collaborating with several previous Next Generation Award winners and finalists on current projects including Poshly ceo and founder Doreen Bloch; Snaps founder and ceo Vivian Rosenthal, and Rachel Tipograph, founder of Mik Mak.
“The 2016 Next Generation finalists are an impressive group of women who embody the spirit of the Women in Digital program and have created innovative business solutions with the potential to revolutionize the beauty industry,” stated Rachel Weiss, vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship at L’Oréal USA. “These women will enrich the community of visionary female entrepreneurs we have assembled over the past five years, and through the program we will empower them through mentorship, collaboration and the ability to scale their cutting-edge ideas into transformative technologies.”