Douglas calls for new brands and tech for start-up competition

German beauty retailer Douglas has launched the third iteration of its start-up competition aimed at highlighting and bringing new brands, technologies and sustainability initiatives to the company.

Called Beauty Futures – The Douglas Innovation Pitch, the competition is open to start-ups and companies in three areas: Beauty Brand, Beauty Technology and Green Retail. The third category is new to the competition and is in response to increased demand for sustainability in retail.

Douglas Group CEO Tina Müller said the retailer wants new ideas that will support the company’s digitalization strategy #FORWARDBEAUTYDigitalfirst.

For the Beauty Brand section, Douglas is looking for new product ideas in skincare, make-up, fragrance, nutritional supplements and haircare that could be added to the retailer’s product assortment.

Meanwhile, Beauty Technology concerns ideas that will improve Douglas’ customer experience. The technologies can include data management, artificial intelligence (AI) or augmented reality (AR) to be used in the company’s stores, online shop, app or social media.

Through Green Retail, Douglas is looking for start-ups with new ideas to develop sustainable retail in the company’s stores, e-commerce, purchasing or logistics.

The competition’s jury includes Douglas management in addition to external figures. The judges include Douglas Group CEO Tina Müller, Business angel and early-stage Investor Beate Fastrich, ada Co-founder and CEO Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel, Federal Association of German Start-ups and Partner of Headline Christian Miele, start-up founder and author Verena Pausder and entrepreneur and angel investor Lea-Sophie Cramer.

The judges will choose one winner per category. The Beauty Brand winning idea will be stocked in Douglas’ international product assortment and on the company’s online shop. Following a review process, the winners of the other two categories will have the opportunity to integrate their solutions into the company’s online shop, stores or the Douglas ecosystem.

Start-ups can submit entries at until September 26.

Participants should submit a brief description of their idea in addition to a pitch deck that includes a business plan summary. Female and diverse candidates are urged to apply, says Douglas.

An internal jury will select six candidates per category. These candidates will then be asked to make a video pitch to the jury. The best three teams (one for each category) will be honored during an award-presentation ceremony on November 12.