Estée Lauder Companies and TikTok launch The Catalysts programme, an investment initiative for emerging talent

by | Jul 4, 2024

Last week, Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) announced the launch of The Catalysts, a programme intended to showcase, elevate, and empower beauty’s emerging storytellers

The initiative, in collaboration with TikTok, will see two winners be selected by a panel of industry leaders to win 250K in funding, along with mentorship and distribution support.

Launched by ELC’s New Incubation Ventures, the early-stage investment arm of the company, The Catalysts will capitalise on the proliferation of beauty content online to spotlight the talent of tomorrow.

Shana Randhava, Senior Vice President of New Incubation Ventures said: ‘Today, founding a beauty brand takes more than traditional business acumen; it’s about crafting narratives, building communities, and shaping not just trends but also broader conversations and movements. Founders are storytellers, cultural ambassadors, filmmakers, designers, gamers, and artists.

‘We set out to create a program to identify and elevate these visionaries as they continue to drive innovation and push the conversation forward,’ she continued.

According to the Value of Beauty report, 68% of marketers work with influencers and 88% of brands have a dedicated influencer budget. So, ELC couldn’t have picked a better time to nurture emerging beauty key opinion leaders. 

What’s more, there’s no denying that TikTok has dramatically transformed the beauty industry by fostering inclusivity and introducing innovative approaches to beauty storytelling. Remarkably, #beauty has been cited more than 45 million times on the platform. 

‘We’ve witnessed the evolution of beauty firsthand on TikTok, not just through how products are shared and discovered, but how they are experienced,’said Vanessa Craft, Global Head of Partnerships at TikTok. 

‘We’re proud to have created a space where everyone is able to explore the diversity and inclusivity of beauty – driven by our incredible community of creators and brands who enable enthusiasts to be a part of something and see how beauty products perform on people that look like them,’ she continues, before saying: ‘We are delighted to be joining Estée Lauder Companies in finding and nurturing future pioneers of the beauty industry.’

Entries for The Catalysts Programme are now open to all, with ELC offering those who enter the chance to learn from industry experts via ten masterclasses that will be delivered between now and October. You can access them here

Applications will be judged by a leading jury including Eugene Souleiman, Hung Vanngo and Mitchell Halliday. 

You can find out more about the programme here

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